Turin Book Fair: Union of Palestinian Writers and Intellectuals protest Italy’s invitation to Apartheid Israel
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Turin Book Fair: Union of Palestinian Writers and Intellectuals protest Italy’s invitation to Apartheid Israel

The General Union of Palestinian Writers and Intellectuals rejected the Italian decision to host the Occupation state, on account of its 60th year, as a guest of honour at the Turin Book Fair. They point out that Italy’s invitation to the Occupation state to participate as an honorary guest legitimates the state as well as the crimes it has carried out against the land and people of Palestine.

The president of the union Dr. Mutykal Taha stated that Italy is considered a friend of the Palestinian people, also noting that Italy has been a refuge for civilization, history and humanist art. As such, it is necessary that Italy does not associate with a racist state that is constructing the Apartheid Wall, building settlements and laying down checkpoints. Additionally, he charged the Occupation with uprooting trees, bulldozing homes, destroying the environment, causing starvation and all the while holding more than 11,000 Palestinians behind prison bars.

A member of the Union, poet Majad Abu Gush requested that Arab intellectuals, along with the free peoples of the world, send a message to Italy and its writers and intellectuals, pressuring them to sanction Israel. Abu Gush has made this call in light of the fact that Israel functions as a racist occupier that maintains power through force and controls all aspects of Palestinian life. Additionally, considering that the Occupation has ignored UN decisions over the decades, Italy should put pressure on the Occupation state instead of hosting it.

In addition, the poet Dr. al-Matukel Taha sent a letter to the Italian consulate in Jerusalem informing him of the position of the Union and demanding that the invitation to the Occupation be rescinded. This call represents the importance of the language of human understanding, freedom and human rights and is strengthened by the peoples who decide to isolate the Occupation and its atrocities.

The decision by the Italian book fair to host the Occupation as a guest of honour to “celebrate” its 60th year of existence is made even worse considering the latest news that the book fair had already signed an agreement with Egypt to be the guest of honour for 2008, a tribute to the countries ancient heritage of culture and today’s world famous writers.

The call from Palestine to rescind the invitation to the Occupation as a guest of honour has been taken up by some prominent of writers. Writer and critic Tariq Ali has sent an open letter to the organizers of the book fair arguing his decision to boycott the fair this year.

For all those interested to send letters of protest, the contact details of the organizers of the book fair are listed below:
Alberto Conte alberto.conte@unito.it
Carla Gatti carla.gatti@provincia.torino.it
Enrico Grosso enrico.grosso@unito.it
federico motta info@mottaeditore.it
Francesca Cilluffo fcilluffo@notariato.it
Giovanni De Luna giovanni.deluna@unito.it
Giuliano Soria info@grinzane.it
Ernesto Ferrero info@ernestoferrero.it
Marco Polillo info@polillo.it
Piero Bianucci piero.bianucci@lastampa.it
Roberto Moisio roberto.moisio@regione.piemonte.it
rolando picchioni picchioni@fieralibro.it
Valter Giuliano valter.giuliano@provincia.torino.it
Walter Barberis walter.barberis@unito.it