Trending Topics:

Palestinian Harry Potter fan challenges J. K. Rowling on BDS using lessons from Hogwarts

on 69 Comments

Originally published on Mia Oudeh’s Facebook page:

Dear J. K. Rowling,

I am an avid fan of yours, and have continuously read your Harry Potter books non-stop since the age of 11. My whole house is splattered with memorabilia, and I have just returned from visiting Harry Potter World which was one of the most amazing trips of my life. I’m 100% obsessed with your books, and frequently dream about them – in particular, The Battle of Hogwarts, where my sub-conscious always brings in my own personal battle, but a battle in which I think everyone should be taking part.

I am writing to you in response to your public support for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and opposition to the BDS movement in the Guardian’s “Culture for Coexistence” letter. As a Palestinian, I have to say that I was completely disappointed when I read about this, because your books have been the very source of all the hope I have for peace and justice in my homeland someday. You see, my Battle of Hogwarts dreams have always had the death eaters as Zionists, and Harry and his peers as Palestinians. Knowing that the idea for your epic novels was from World War II and the Nazis, I naturally drew parallels between the books and Zionist Israel and Palestine. I am therefore entirely confused and heart broken at your support for this letter, because to me, as a Palestinian Potterhead, it does not quite make sense.

The letter in question states,

“Cultural boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory and will not further peace … Open dialogue and interaction promote greater understanding and mutual acceptance … Cultural engagement builds bridges, nurtures freedom and positive movement for change. We wholly endorse encouraging such a powerful tool for change rather than boycotting its use.”

I feel that this letter has not contextualised the grim reality of Israel/Palestine, and is paradoxical in its nature. In this response to your support of the letter, I will be drawing parallels between the Harry Potter world and the Palestinian world in order to demonstrate my confusion.

Firstly, “boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory,” is a ridiculous sentence in itself. I’m not sure whether you know the history of Israel, but it did not exist before 1948. It is a settler-colonial state which operates on the apartheid of an indigenous people and has broken international law and UN resolutions every single day since its existence. The practices Israel enforces in its culture and every day functioning are in themselves divisive and discriminatory. No cultural engagement between Palestinians and Israelis will ever build bridges, because rather than the “two sides are to blame” argument the letter you signed endorses, there are no two sides.

When the death eaters take over the Ministry of Magic and begin to run the magical world, would you have placed them in an equal side to the Potter trio? I definitely would not; the death eaters ran a ministry of oppression – from the “Magic is Might” statue of the naked muggles being used to support the robed wizard, to the brutal treatment of muggle born students at Hogwarts. Additionally, the death eaters had the advantage of fighting together using the Unforgivable Curses, having an army of brutal magical creatures including giants and dementors, having magical spells to track the Potter trio’s movements and having full control of the magical world through their position of power.

In contrast, Harry was working in isolation with the support of his two friends. His “side” were terrorised families who could not step one foot out of line in fear of being tortured and/or killed, or who were in hiding and on the run. It was a completely uneven distribution of power and most definitely not two sides. It was a case of the oppressor and the oppressed.

Now let’s consider this in the Israel/Palestine context. How can we, as Palestinians, sit and conduct peaceful dialogue with Israelis, as equal sides, both to blame for a “conflict”, when there is also an uneven distribution of power?

Israel has the fourth largest army in the world and receives $10.2 million in military aid daily from the U.S.. Palestine has no army and receives no money for military aid. When you look at news articles and pictures of the so-called “conflict”, you can see the Israeli Defence Forces kitted out in uniform, armed with guns and helmets and tanks and illegal chemical weapons and f16s and drones. In contrast, you see Palestinians with rocks and handmade weapons, if they are lucky enough. You can see the damage made with something like drones or white phosphorous in contrast to the damage of “Hamas rockets” (the media’s favourite phrase). This very example shows the uneven distribution of power, and sets the base for why it is argued that Israel and Palestine are not two sides, but the oppressor and the oppressed.

In the magical world, the muggles and muggle borns were completely exploited and ridiculed by the death eaters. Muggle borns were named the derogatory name “Mudblood” and were accused of “stealing magic” if they could not provide proof of magical relatives. Muggle-born students were singled out in Hogwarts when the death eaters started teaching there, and some muggle borns had to go on the run and were often rounded up by Snatchers. The death eaters’ hatred and discriminatory practices against the muggle borns were not a secret; they were plain for everyone to see, much like the treatment of the Palestinians by Israel.

How can we talk about cultural bridges when Israelis live in illegal settlements (under international law) with unlimited supplies of running water and electricity, whilst meters away Palestinian villages have one of the worst droughts in the world? As one of my dear friends so aptly put, will these bridges of peace bridge the Palestinians who are literally fenced into ghetto villages by an 8m concrete wall, checkpoints and watch towers (which eerily look like the watch towers of Nazi concentration camps) to the land they have been cut off from, which Israelis can access at any time? Will our cultural bridge of peace bridge Shuhada street in Hebron, where Palestinians literally have to use a specific walkway separate to Israelis (much like the bus services around the country)? Shall we invite the Israelis, who are off-duty from their military tasks in for a cup of tea before they return to bombing us with one of the world’s most advanced armies? Maybe when they come over they can wear their t-shirts depicting pregnant Palestinian women, saying “1 shot 2 kills”  and talk about how distressed they feel as their leaders are celebrating their regime saying “we are the masters“.

Have you ever even looked at the type of Zionist statements made against Palestinians? For example, just two weeks ago 13 year old Ahmad Salih Manasra was shot and a video taken of the scene documented Israeli onlookers shouting, “Die, son of a whore!” and ordering police to “Give him one in the head” whilst he lay bleeding and struggling to breathe on the floor. Perhaps Ahmad would like to have those onlookers as visitors at the hospital he’s now recovering in – they can bring in flowers, see how he’s doing and he can listen to how threatened they felt watching him be attacked.

The suggestion of dialogue is as absurd as an oblivious muggle who has no awareness or willingness to understand of the context between a death eater and muggle born. It’s like Vernon Dursley shaking his head, saying that we’re all being foolish and peace will come if only Dean Thomas, whose father was killed because he refused to serve the death eaters, and Antonin Dolohov sat together and “talked it out”. Of course, that would never happen because Dolohov was outwardly for the expulsion of anyone against Voldemort, and could have been the very person who plotted and killed Dean’s dad. How could Dean ever contemplate sitting with someone who’s colleagues killed his father, who was actively seeking out his peers from school, and who was torturing and maiming people for their identity?

How about, when the death eaters storm and wreck Xenophilius Lovegood’s house looking for Harry in false exchange for Luna, they all pause their “conflict” and talk to each other about how all of this is making them feel. Because, the death eaters’ feelings are just as valid as Xenophilius’. Because there are two sides to every story.

Just like Palestinians when they face daily military incursions, house arrests and house demolitions. I’m sure the families in Sheikh Jarrah (East Jerusalem) would love to talk to the Israelis who made them homeless by illegally kicking them out of their houses so that they can use them as holiday accommodation, and who force them to pay for their water, gas and electricity bills even though they don’t have access to them. Or perhaps my friends in Susiya village, who have had their homes and temporary tent shelters demolished time and time again , would love to invite the illegal Israeli settlers who stole their farm and the Israeli soldiers responsible for their demolitions over for some dinner. Because the illegal holiday making settlers who thieved their homes and farms, and the Israeli soldiers who order house demolitions on tent shelters have feelings just as valid as the families whom they stole their homes from. Two “sides” to every story.

I have a feeling, with all due respect, that you have never spoken to a Palestinian before. Your signature on this letter seems to be made from a judgement purely based on privilege and monetary benefits. I therefore welcome you to come visit me and talk to my family about whether they would like to have some dialogue with Israelis and build a cultural bridge of peace.

Maybe you could ask my father, who lived through three wars before the age of 25; who grew up with drones flying over his head during his early childhood; who lost contact with his parents, siblings and family whilst he was at university because Israel expelled them from their home; and who was banned from returning to his home because he “willingly left” to go study in Egypt and could therefore not return to search for his family. Or you could ask my mother, who has not been allowed to even visit her birth city in over 40 years.

How about talking to all 6 million Palestinian refugees who are dispersed all over the world, waiting with their keys from when they left their homes in 1948 to go back to their still-intact houses; waiting for the promise of their return (granted by the British) to be acted upon at last; waiting for Israel to comply to UN resolution 194 (III) which states “that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible“; waiting for the international community to stop preaching about “two sides” and “dialogue” and to recognise that the state of Israel has been guilty of consistently breaking international law from its creation.

Sure, they would love to talk to every Zionist out there who is actively contributing to their displacement. I for one just love to read about American Jews who have no genetic ties to Israel but want to move there because they just love it there, meanwhile if I try to visit I am strip searched, interrogated and shot at even though my parents were born there. Yeah, let’s have some dialogue – it’ll solve everything!

The letter you signed is a prime example of the “good, unbiased Westerner approach” which actively ignores international law violations, dehumanises the indigenous Palestinians, and lazily sweeps Western responsibility under the carpet. The elephant in the room that we all need to talk about is: none of this would be happening if it weren’t for Britain who gave the land to Israel in the first place, with no consultation from the indigenous population. No, let’s ignore history and statistics and daily reports of atrocities and say, “you both need to calm down, let’s all sit at a table like we’ve been doing for the past 60 years and talk about your feelings and find some shared experiences from perspectives.” How dare anyone, who has not picked up a book or watched a documentary on the subject, who has never even spoken to a Palestinian about their life tell them what to do when they have no idea how it feels to be oppressed; to be cut off from your homeland whilst international settlers take up camp there; how it feels to see pixelated images of your friends’ dead, mutilated bodies appear on your computer screen through a news report whilst people tell you to “stay calm”; how it feels to stay up all night worrying for 8 months straight whilst the love of your life has been subjected to torture methods in solitary confinement and administrative detention without trial or charge?

Can you imagine someone sitting Hermione and Bellatrix down, after Bellatrix has tortured Hermione, to talk things out? Perhaps Neville could join them, and report back to his deranged parents the success of their dialogue. Intergenerational trauma is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses in the Palestinian community, with PTSD being the most common disorder in Palestinian children. Every family living in Palestine has had at least one member of their family arrested under administrative detention and tortured by soldiers for information. Why should a Palestinian who has been subjected to extreme means of psychological and physical torture sit across from an Israeli to hear their perspective? That’s like a cancer patient listening to someone who is completely healthy complaining about a bruise on their leg.

“Ah,” I can hear you say, “But what about the Israelis suffering?”, and in response to that I would say please study the published statistics on those killed in the “conflict” and recognise that you cannot even begin to compare the number of deaths of Israelis to Palestinians. Millions have been massacred and murdered, thousands incarcerated in jails without trial or charge. For you, you hear the words “Israel” and “Palestine” maybe once or twice a year, but I hear them every day when my friends tell me of the news coming from there. Additionally, Israel does not limit its atrocities to Palestinians; in this month alone there have already been reports of a British man, Rabbi and Israeli being attacked by Israeli soldiers.

Like the propaganda created to argue that muggle borns stole magic, propaganda is dispersed everywhere to paint Palestinians as terrorists, and Israelis as victims. Harry was depicted as dangerous and mad, like a terrorist, to the wizarding community – much like the Palestinians you will see flickering on your tv screen. But, as Hermione might suggest, sources mean everything, and I only hope that you have not taken your information from the Zionists’ version of the Daily Prophet, but rather the Palestinians’ version of Potterwatch. Because just like your novels show, the best way to get information is to go straight to the source instead of a mass media production site. Rita Skeeter herself demonstrated the dangers of reporting and spreading biased and exaggerated news articles, and although I’m extremely certain nobody would trap you in a jar as a beetle, I’m sure that one day you will have to backtrack your arguments.

I honestly think you are one of the most creatively intelligent writers we have, and up until now you have inspired me beyond belief. I would hate to think that you knew all of this previously before signing that letter, because by signing it you have automatically signed up to Netanyahu’s inner circle of supporters – the same man who regularly denied that Palestine ever existed and referred to Palestinians as “Arabs” to strip them of their racial identity who has just said that the genocide of the Jews in World War II wasn’t actually from the Nazis but from the Palestinians themselves (yes, he used the ‘P’ word showing that his consistent denial of Palestine was a political tactic).

To the Palestinians, many of whom rely on Harry Potter as a means of inspiration and escapism, you have outed yourself as a sympathiser of today’s present-day Nazis who are conducting ethnic cleansing as we speak. I only hope that now I’ve highlighted my concerns that you might withdraw your signature and realise that a peaceful, practical approach to fighting apartheid is to endorse BDS until Israel complies with international law. It worked with South African apartheid, which I’m sure you never supported, and it will work with Israeli apartheid too.

So many intellectual academics, scholars, musicians, artists, novelists, scientists and performers have spoken out for their support of BDS. It is the only logical way that this madness will stop. We have spoken until our tongues have dried out – dialogue is a method that has gone stale. We need action and that action is BDS until Israel recognises international law, like every country on this planet should.

The letter you signed uses the word “coexistence” in its title – but “coexistence” will never be reached until the lives of every single person is treated with dignity and respect. Somehow, I don’t think sitting down and talking is going to teach the IDF or Israeli settlers to start respecting Palestinian life, because they are so indoctrinated into a culture of brain washed military life. For example, they have been recorded watching the bombing of Gaza as though it were a movie at the cinema. Coexistence will happen once this culture is torn down, and I am so sure that if Harry could defeat Voldemort, Neville could behead Nagini, and Snape could be good, that Palestine will be free and we will all live as one people on this Earth.

I hope that this letter is shared as widely as possible so that you may see it, and that I can hear your reply.

Montage by Mia Oudeh

Montage by Mia Oudeh

About Mia Oudeh

Mia Oudeh is a Palestinian living in Scotland. She currently works as a piano and singing teacher.

Other posts by .

Posted In:

69 Responses

  1. CigarGod
    October 27, 2015, 11:31 am

    This is one of the most powerful presentations on the topic I have ever read.
    The analogy is magic.

    • truthurts
      October 28, 2015, 7:01 pm

      i’l like to know what kind of jewish/zionist influence and pressure has been exerted on rowlands

      • Felice Gelman
        Felice Gelman
        October 28, 2015, 11:23 pm

        Start with her literary agent Neil Blair who is one of the organizers of Cultures for Coexistence

  2. bryan
    October 27, 2015, 11:43 am

    It’s a lot easier for the public to boycott Walmart than it is to boycott Caterpillar or Raytheon, Group4 Security or Veolia. Time to boycott every company profitting from the illegal Occupation! Let them know their stance is simply unacceptable.

    • echinococcus
      October 28, 2015, 4:19 pm

      Any business with anyone in “Israel” and any of its master-race offshoots and settlements is profiting from the illegal occupation. Every cultural or even private link with Zionist entity master-race citizens is reinforcing the illegal occupation. By all means boycott the heavy occupation profiteers first, but also put all those who keep ties on notice.

  3. pabelmont
    October 27, 2015, 12:14 pm

    I read all the books, but never saw any of the movies. Why wreck a good thing, right? So I thought. But after all, since I was by far no longer a kid, it was not love, it was not immersion. They were just books!

    This “fan” Mia Oudeh, OTOH, is something else! And what she comes up with! Wow!

    J K Rowling is “an oblivious muggle who has no awareness or willingness to understand of the context between a death eater and muggle born.”

    And, indeed, the brain-dead fully-propagandized Ziobots in the USA and elsewhere are like “muggles” who are totally clueless, got no idea, asleep, drugged, unthinking, uninformed, deliberately deluded, self deluded, victims of Zionism, victimizers of Palestinians, thinking themselves to be champions and defenders of something that deserves to be protected.. Defenders of “death eaters”. And the Palestinians, who summon up bravery and sumud, are magical!

    Ziobots, drugged, asleep. So sad.

    • Mooser
      October 27, 2015, 12:48 pm

      Ah, no wonder Rowling must do the bidding of Zionists. She owes us for “Muggles”. I wonder what ol’ Mezz would think?

    • pabelmont
      October 27, 2015, 12:59 pm

      More on JK Rowling here:

      Who was behind the letter?

      What the letter doesn’t make clear, however, is that one of the driving forces behind Culture for Coexistence is Neil Blair, JK Rowling’s literary agent.

      Blair is also on the board of the UK branch of the Abraham Fund. That “coexistence” group is sponsored by Hapoalim, an Israeli bank that finances the construction of Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank.

      On 21 October, the UK Friends of the Abraham Fund announced as its new chairperson Alex Brummer, an editor and columnist at the rightwing British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail, notable for its pro-Israel editorial stance and notorious for its racist and Islamophobic stereotypes.

      Brummer is also a regular contributor to The Jewish Chronicle, a British newspaper with pronounced Zionist leanings.

      A recent statement on the Abraham Fund’s Facebook page on what it called “ongoing tensions” claims that “Arab society in Israel must unite against the attacks and stabbings of Jews and prevent the incitement which is encouraging these acts.”

      The statement makes no mention of the deadly violence perpetrated by the Israeli army and settlers against Palestinians.

      Violence is clearly, according to the Abraham Fund, something perpetrated only by Palestinians.

      • CigarGod
        October 27, 2015, 1:05 pm

        I think we all knew this would be the case, but nice to have it verified.

      • John O
        John O
        October 27, 2015, 1:25 pm

        Thank you. I hope all this gets back to her and she will realise she’s been suckered by Blair and gets herself a new agent pronto.

      • MHughes976
        October 27, 2015, 1:30 pm

        This is the sort of network you would expect to find linking up moderately left-wing, Labour voting, culturally active and successful people in the UK. Pro-Palestinians are still very much the minority. We’re stronger in the university world but even there the strength of opinion behind us is quite muted, as the cancellation of that Zionist-critical conference at Southampton demonstrated.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        October 27, 2015, 6:47 pm


        Rowling hasn’t been ‘suckered’ by anyone. She has a track record of supporting establishment causes. She has donated huge amounts – one million pounds in a single donation – to Nu Labour, the party of war criminal Tony Blair. She is a close personal friend of former PM Gordon “Friend of Israel” Brown. She was a vocal opponent of Scottish independence, again donating generously to the ‘Better Together’ campaign.

        So looked at that way, it’s entirely unsurprising that she should be a supporter of Israel. What disappoints me more is Hilary Mantel, whose work I enjoy. Then again, she did accept a ‘Damehood’ from Queen Elizabeth, so she’s likely an establishment figure too.

  4. michelle
    October 27, 2015, 12:40 pm


    “ear ear”
    G-d Bless

  5. amigo
    October 27, 2015, 2:07 pm

    “Open dialogue and interaction promote greater understanding and mutual acceptance … Cultural engagement builds bridges, nurtures freedom and positive movement for change. We wholly endorse encouraging such a powerful tool for change rather than boycotting its use.” – See more at:

    Miss Rowling , we are talking about Israel.Drop the fiction.

  6. joemowrey
    October 27, 2015, 2:14 pm

    Links to two articles at CounterPunch that address this issue quite well. The second, an exchange between Hamilton and Rowling, is particularly illustrative of how misinformed Rowling is.

  7. Refaat
    October 27, 2015, 3:00 pm

    Thank you Mia for the best peace of writing I read in a while. And thank you for this informatively comprehensive reply to an author we loved and wish not to align herself with bigotry and racism and oppression she taught us to repel.

  8. annie
    October 27, 2015, 3:28 pm

    i’d like to thank you too mia, very much. my friend karen platt sent me your link on FB yesterday. i just loved it and asked adam and phil immediately and if we could get your permission to republish it. i also went to your FB home page and read all the fabulous coverage your article has received! it’s really such a spectacular response. we covered the “cultural bridges” letter here ( ) but not being a harry potter follower, i had no idea what harry would do. so, i just asked instead. and it was so amazing/wonderful reading a response from both a palestinian and a huge harry potter fan who could answer that question for me. you wove everything together spectacularly.

    and i really hope you get a response from rowling, you deserve one for sure!!!

    • John O
      John O
      October 27, 2015, 4:34 pm

      Thanks, Annie – reminding us how much hard work you, Phil, Adam and others do on our behalf.

    • annie
      October 28, 2015, 2:44 am

      thanks john. it’s more like a labor of love. our hearts are it in for sure. the techi stuff (it took a little efforts to fill in all her awesome embeds) is well worth it -1000k fold. this article is a jewel and once again we were alerted by one of our dedicated readers/contacts. the articles here don’t just magically appear (takes a village), but … i can’t quite agree with you that it’s “hard work”. it’s important to put everything in perspective. compared to palestinian sumud, its literally de nada what we do. i wrote about it once — palestinians are holding up the world >>>

      most of all i believe. i believe like martin did about the moral universe and the arc of justice. this is the moral challenge of our time and i am honored (so honored) to be a part of it. we will prevail, of this i am certain.

      what mia has written is so pure and it speaks to the generation who grew up with harry potter. it reminds me how every step they take (the zionists) they are digging their own grave in the moral universe, deeper and deeper — and we will prevail. ;)

    • RockyMissouri
      October 28, 2015, 12:09 pm

      Thank you, Annie. I am shedding tears of joy/humility/elation/gratitude that I can share Mondoweiss with others.

      • annie
        October 28, 2015, 12:51 pm

        awesome rocky, thanks for being here.

    • ziusudra
      October 29, 2015, 8:41 am

      Greetings Ms. Annie,
      You posted 4 times & got through unscathed.
      I posted once & got censored!
      You are so powerful.
      He who controls, exists.
      PS I don’t get ‘no respect’ on MW.

      • annie
        October 29, 2015, 4:22 pm

        ziusdra, all people on staff here are unmoderated. my comments appear immediately after i click “reply” so yes, all of them go thru unscathed.

        i have hardly been moderating today. the last time i addressed one of your little insulting notes to me (included name calling) accusing me of censoring you, i informed you it was not me who had censored your recent comment(s). i also stated i would not be moderating any more of your comments since you continue to blame me and write me insulting little notes. i scroll past your unmoderated comments now and rarely read them. you may have noticed that over the weekend when all of your posts were stacked up (about 2 dozen of them) for 3-4 days trapped in moderation waiting for another moderator (besides me) to decide what would or would not be published, which finally happened sometime on monday or tuesday (we were understaffed). i also wrote the other staff members about a month ago and informed them i would no longer be dealing with your comments (ever). iow, whoever “censored” you – it wasn’t me. bye, forever.

  9. Rodneywatts
    October 27, 2015, 4:42 pm

    Excellent Mia, and there is good news for you from 343 of our British Academics, who have sponsored a full page ad in today’s Guardian, supporting BDS.

    So much for J K R –but I do hope she gets transformed into one of us!

  10. Kris
    October 27, 2015, 4:46 pm

    This is a wonderful letter, Mia, outstanding! Thank you so much! And thanks to mondoweiss for covering it.

  11. Kris
    October 27, 2015, 4:48 pm

    Yonah, et al, this one is going out to you (from the article):

    I for one just love to read about American Jews who have no genetic ties to Israel but want to move there because they just love it there, meanwhile if I try to visit I am strip searched, interrogated and shot at even though my parents were born there. Yeah, let’s have some dialogue – it’ll solve everything!

    The Zionist amen choir seems to be on a break right now, oddly enough.

    • MHughes976
      October 27, 2015, 5:03 pm

      Oh, come on, Mia – the ties of those Americans to Palestine are magical, yours merely real. Words eat the life out of facts.

  12. Kay24
    October 27, 2015, 6:14 pm

    Seems Le Cordon Bleu is going into partnership with Soda Stream:

    This is a petition anyone can sign.

  13. Keith
    October 27, 2015, 6:28 pm

    Maybe I’ve become too cynical. I have difficulty understanding how the 99% can expect billionaire J.K. Rowling to behave other than as part of the 1%. Are some of you expecting Princess Joanne to rescue you from Voldebibi? Get real.

  14. michelle
    October 27, 2015, 6:29 pm

    “I was a fool!” Percy roared, so loudly that Lupin nearly dropped his photograph. “I was an idiot, I was a pompous prat, I was a – a -”
    “Ministry-loving, family-disowning, power-hungry moron,” said Fred.
    Percy swallowed.
    “Yes, I was!”
    “Well, you can’t say fairer than that,” said Fred, holding out his hand to Percy.”
    G-d Bless

  15. WH
    October 27, 2015, 8:02 pm
  16. just
    October 27, 2015, 11:59 pm

    Bless you, Mia. Annie, too.

    There are many standing in solidarity with you and the truth.

    I was entirely captivated by your expression and your brilliance and your voice when I read it and shared it on Annie’s thread. Your essence came shining through! Sadly, JK did not measure up.

    Here’s her lame response:

    “K. Rowling Defends Decision to Oppose Cultural Boycott of Israel

    The Harry Potter author swished her wand, and deemed it ‘riddikulus’ that a cultural boycott would be an effective means to end the bloody conflict. …”

    read more:

    You write so well, you know how to teach the world, and I admire you so much. I heard you loud and clear, and I also heard the longing for my fellow woman, man, child, and grandparents. Live free and safe.

    Take care and thank you. The truth will, and has to, morph into long overdue justice and freedom for you and yours.

    This I promise with every breath that I’m allowed to take. It’s never too late to keep asking JK to morph or meld into a more sentient human! Look around at the disaster that everyone helped to create for and for what??? My deepest apologies for the anguish that everyone has caused and foisted upon the wondrous Palestinians of Palestine.

  17. ckg
    October 28, 2015, 10:43 am

    Thank you, Mia and Annie.

    On Tuesday, Rowling issued a further clarification in which she compares Israel to Voldemort’s Death Eaters, explaining that Dumbledore engaged with the Death Eater Snape. She adds, the “Palestinian community has suffered untold injustice and brutality. I want to see the Israeli government held to account for that injustice and brutality. Boycotting Israel on every possible front has its allure. It satisfies the human urge to do something, anything, in the face of horrific human suffering.”

    The Jewish press is most unhappy with her now.

    • Mooser
      October 28, 2015, 11:56 am

      “The Jewish press is most unhappy with her now.”

      And so, I would hope, are many teachers of writing and composition. Thats’a some epistolary style she’s got there, direct, simple, crisp and clear.

    • mikomikeyz
      October 28, 2015, 1:50 pm

      My cousin’s partner is Gideon Levy. He is Jewish press, and they aren’t uniformly unhappy. Accuracy matters if peace matters.

      • annie
        October 28, 2015, 3:11 pm

        miko, i think you may have misunderstood ckg’s and mooser’s comments. in this context “jewish press” means a specific publication: (embedded in “most unhappy”/ckg’s comment )

        and no, i don’t think gideon levy would be published there, ever.

      • ckg
        October 28, 2015, 3:43 pm

        Miko, that occurred to me after I posted. I probably should have capitalized the P in Press. Thanks, Annie.

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2015, 4:27 pm

        “Accuracy matters if peace matters.”

        I think Jewish Press, is a rather silly and presumptuous name for a publication, but there it is. Look, I’ve been the one saying, for years, that we have to get definitive and legal possession and control of the appellation “Jewish” or it will be sorely misused. But then, you should certainly understand why, it concerns your own hopes:

        “As far as “Hope for what”? Well, I trace my ancestry through the book “The Unbroken Chain”. My mother is a genealogist. She has over 10,000 family members on computer. Not just the chain; more importantly, the family stories, the myths, the newspaper clippings, the gravestone rubbings, the surprising connections….the clues to the people that once were. The hopes of these people to one day produce me as the inheritor of the best of all that they are. I owe them something by my existence, and my son can someday choose whether to come to this same conclusion.” – See more at:

    • WH
      October 29, 2015, 4:35 am

      She’s in rather a strange position now, having presumably alienated both some pro-Palestinian and most pro-Israeli factions. There are three main flaws to her analogy and arguments:
      1. BDS advocates do not want to kill Israelis; they want to put pressure on them to make them act differently.
      2. A number of the pro-Palestinian Israelis whom she doesn’t want to wrong (a concern I understand) are themselves calling for boycott.
      3. This isn’t about a single person; it’s a whole society and its condition.

      It seems to me that her moral compass is fine, she just lacks a bit of information about the situation in Israel.

    • ckg
      October 29, 2015, 8:37 am

      Here are some of the more recent headlines. It’s disappointing that she opposes boycott, but this is hardly a hasbara victory:

      The National (UK): Palestinian’s letter to JK Rowling goes viral

      The Times of India: Author JK Rowling blasts Israel for brutal and unjust treatment of Palestinian people

      The Telegraph: JK Rowling speaks out against ‘brutal’ treatment of Palestinian people by Israel

      RT: JK Rowling condemns ‘brutal’ Israeli govt, but rejects cultural boycott

      Haaretz: JK Rowling condemns ‘brutal’ Israeli govt, but rejects cultural boycott

      The Hindu: JK Rowling blasts Israel over Palestine issue

      The Mirror (UK): JK Rowling slams Israeli government over Palestine but says cultural boycott would silence ‘important voices’

      Arutz Sheva: Harry Potter author opposes boycott, but also Israeli policy

      Examiner (US): J.K. Rowling culturally puts Israelis in same category as deatheaters

      Jewish Press: Harry Potter author compares Israel to her most harrowing characters

      • oldgeezer
        October 29, 2015, 9:35 am


        This is an incredible own goal on the part of the zionists. They used her international fame to draw attention and then once it was focussed she let loose a broadside.

        I disagree with her analysis of the situation and therefore her position but I’ll respect her right to use her own judgement. Hopefully she will come around in time particularly once she sees the blowback from her statement.

      • CigarGod
        October 29, 2015, 9:40 am

        Big smiles in my house.

      • Kris
        October 29, 2015, 10:34 am

        This is so funny! Especially considering the fact that people who are not especially interested in Israel/Palestine will read only the headlines, which condemn Israel.

        Drip, drip, drip.

  18. rolf
    October 28, 2015, 12:33 pm

    shame on JK Rowling for LOSING TOUCH with reality / truth.
    1. is your publisher/producer is not jewish/zionist?
    2. was all her humanity in HP books fake/hollow?!
    3. funny how we have no problem and do not call it racism to hang Russia, half its economy by sanctions
    4. you do not get it! the best explanation is by Israeli(!) journalist HERO Gideon Levy
    i.e. in his speech 2015-04-10 at The Israel Lobby conference
    – reality check: NO CHANCE for change in israeli society as majority (92% zionist) is too brainwashed & totally in denial!! So, Gideon”s right: a cultural change is a MUST + International Intervention!
    5. surely you can afford the £3 + time to read the 64-page book “The CASE for a CULTURAL BOYCOTT!” by the artist community (“Artists for Palestine UK)
    PEACE! without frontieres (political immoral correctness)

  19. RockyMissouri
    October 28, 2015, 12:36 pm

    This is a treasure. Thank you, Mondoweiss!

  20. Kris
    October 29, 2015, 10:26 am

    Off topic, but wonderful:

    Landing in Tel Aviv, Iberia pilot says ‘Welcome to Palestine’

    During the flight from Madrid by Spain’s national carrier, the pilot announced in Spanish that he was preparing to land “in Tel Aviv, in Palestine.” In English, he subsequently said he was preparing to land “in Tel Aviv,” and did not repeat the “Palestine” comment; neither did he say “Israel.”

    Lior, a passenger on the flight, told Channel 2 news that he was “a little bit shocked.”

    “I don’t understand why he said this,” said Lior. “We live in the State of Israel and he should have said ‘Israel.’ There was a reason he didn’t say it in English. It was deliberate.”

    Another passenger said “everyone noticed” that the pilot didn’t mention Israel by name.

    One of the passengers sent a letter to the company complaining about the pilot’s conduct, saying he and his family “were very offended,” and adding, “It is inappropriate and does serve your company well,” Channel 2 reported.

    The Spanish news website 20 Minutos reported on Thursday morning that the Israeli ambassador in Madrid penned a “tough letter” to the president of Iberia in which he asked him to take disciplinary measures against the pilot.

    Yedioth Ahronoth reported that an Iberia spokeswoman in Israel apologized on behalf of the airline and said the pilot who made the announcement would not be flying the route to Israel until the matter was fully investigated by the airline.

    Gosh, the Israeli ambassador sent a “tough letter” to the president of Iberia!!!!

    • ckg
      October 29, 2015, 10:35 am

      It would have been even better if he had said ‘Lydda, Palestine’.

    • eljay
      October 29, 2015, 10:37 am

      … Landing in Tel Aviv, Iberia pilot says ‘Welcome to Palestine’ During the flight from Madrid by Spain’s national carrier, the pilot announced in Spanish that he was preparing to land “in Tel Aviv, in Palestine.” In English, he subsequently said he was preparing to land “in Tel Aviv,” and did not repeat the “Palestine” comment; neither did he say “Israel.” …

      The pilot was landing in Israel. He should have said so. Had he been landing in Jerusalem or anywhere else outside of Partitions-border Israel, his decision not to announce the destination as Israel would have made perfect sense.

      • RoHa
        October 29, 2015, 6:49 pm

        Geographically speaking, “Tel Aviv, Palestine” is perfectly correct. The city is in the region called Palestine. It is analogous to saying “Stockholm, Scandinavia”. And I doubt that you’d get a tough letter from the Swedish ambassador for saying that.

      • eljay
        October 30, 2015, 11:30 am

        || RoHa: Geographically speaking, “Tel Aviv, Palestine” is perfectly correct. … ||

        Fair enough, but I’m willing to bet the pilot’s motive for using the name of the region rather than the name of the country was more political or protestive than geographic.

    • CigarGod
      October 29, 2015, 10:38 am

      The cracks are appearing all over the place.
      Can’t help but think of Humpty Dumpty.
      …and all the kings horses and all the kings men, couldnt put hd back together again…

    • John O
      John O
      October 29, 2015, 10:55 am

      I guess that’s one way of getting out of flying that route.

    • Steve Grover
      Steve Grover
      October 29, 2015, 12:14 pm

      That pilot should have his or her pilots license, certificates and ratings revoked for his or her inability to navigate.

      • tree
        October 29, 2015, 4:30 pm

        “revoked for his or her inability to navigate.”

        Or, in this case, revoked for daring to speak Spanish that idiotic Israeli passengers can’t understand. How dare he! Off with his head.

      • talknic
        October 29, 2015, 5:46 pm

        @ Steve Grover “That pilot should have his or her pilots license, certificates and ratings revoked for his or her inability to navigate”

        Oh? They should have landed where Steve? I don’t believe there is an airport in Palestine. “Israel, the Occupying Power” won’t allow one

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        October 29, 2015, 7:41 pm

        Talknic correctly sez:
        “I don’t believe there is an airport in Palestine.”
        Yet, Talknic doesn’t think a pilot with an ATP rating should lose his license for trying to fly to a nonexistent airport. They must be real loosey goosey with pilots licenses and ratings in Australia.

      • CigarGod
        October 30, 2015, 11:26 am

        Dude, you might be experiencing decreased blood flow to your brain…or…have you been flying in a depressurized cabin recently?

    • lysias
      October 29, 2015, 3:58 pm

      Iberia is saying that the Israelis on board the plane misheard, that the pilot said not “Tel Aviv, Palestina”, but “Tel Aviv, nuestro destino” (i.e., “Tel Aviv, our destination”). .

      UPDATE: Actually, according to that report, the pilot’s words were, “Queridos pasajeros, estamos en descenso para aterrizar en nuestro destino, Tel Aviv” [“Dear passengers, we are now descending to a landing in our destination, Tel Aviv”], and this has been confirmed by the Spanish-speaking passengers.

      • tree
        October 29, 2015, 4:25 pm

        Hilarious. The Israeli passengers hear things that aren’t there and get offended.

        About a place they claim never existed.

        Haunted by their guilt and prejudice. Everyone is against them, even when they aren’t.

      • RoHa
        October 29, 2015, 6:52 pm

        I agree with tree. It is outrageous for the Spanish pilot of a Spanish airline on a flight originating in Spain to make an announcement in Spanish.

  21. nicnaom
    October 31, 2015, 4:49 am

    How, if positioning anyone as Death Eaters, the unequivocal ‘bad guys’, can we ever hope for peace?

    • echinococcus
      October 31, 2015, 10:49 am

      How? By defeating them and putting them out of operation, as any logic dictates.

      • nicnaom
        October 31, 2015, 11:53 pm

        That’s not peace, that’s autocracy…

    • eljay
      November 2, 2015, 10:58 am

      || nicnaom: How, if positioning anyone as Death Eaters, the unequivocal ‘bad guys’, can we ever hope for peace? ||

      How, if positioning the rapist and the serial killer as “bad guys”, can we ever hope for peace?

      Why would anyone not position as “bad guys” the people who intentionally and with impunity do bad things?

      And why would anyone want a “peace” that rewards the “bad guys” for their past and on-going (war) crimes?

      Justice, accountability and equality – universally and consistently applied. That’s how peace should be achieved.

      • CigarGod
        November 2, 2015, 3:06 pm

        Perfectly stated, eljay.

  22. CigarGod
    November 2, 2015, 10:47 am

    David Green has her on npr this morning.
    Surely a coincidence.

Leave a Reply