On June 2, prominent Lebanese author Amin Maalouf was interviewed on i24 (1), an Israeli television station. A quick search reveals that the station is located near the port of Jaffa, and that its founder (2013) isPatrick Drahi (2), also founder of an Israeli cable TV company called Hot, and, according to some sources, the richest man in the Zionist entity. The chairman of the station, Frank Melloul, declared, at the founding of the station, that he will fight “ignorance and prejudice” towards Israel (3). The stated goal of the station is “to connect Israel to the world and the world to Israel.” (4)Did Amin Maalouf know these facts when he agreed to the interview?
If so, that means he would be using his fame, his creative excellence, and his membership in the French Academy to achieve the goal of the station – i.e. to connect Israel to the world. He would be giving immoral “legitimacy” to the Israeli media, one of the critical tools of occupation, settlements, crimes, displacement, and racism.
In the interview itself, the interviewer emphasizes the Lebanese nationality of Maalouf, and therein is a suggestion of a “normal” relationship between “the two countries” and an acquittal of Israel of the crimes against Lebanese.
Maalouf’s mere approval to be interviewed by this station, regardless of the fact that he never discussed Israeli criminal policies, “blurs” these policies and absolves this station – along with other Israeli media –from their complicity with these criminal policies. It is as if he says: “I could not care less about the actions of the state of which this station is based, nor do I care about the pro-Israeli policies of the station.All I care about is the sophisticated, upscale literary “dialogue” currently being conducted about my new book and the French Academy!”
In the event that Maalouf was ignorant of the identity of the station, then an apology is demanded of him for his mistake, an apology to the Lebanese and Palestinians, to the Arab peoples, and to all those who struggle for freedom in the world.
Ironically, Maalouf’s interview comes amid a growing boycott of Israel by writers, academics, students, intellectuals, and scientists throughout the world. The academic boycott list includes John Berger, Alice Walker, Stephen Hawking, the Teachers Union of Ireland, more than thirty US student associations and eleven Canadian student associations. All of them reject separating culture, academia, literature, media, arts, and sports from crime, injustice, racism and occupation. (5)
As we call upon the prominent Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf to apologize for that interview – out of respect to the martyrs, the prisoners and their families, and the Lebanese and Palestinians displaced and refugees, and out of respect to the (presumed) role of culture in service of justice and humanity – we also renew our call on all Arab writers and intellectuals to boycott the Zionist enemy and to boycott its various media, academic and artistic institutions in order to isolate it in the eye of the world as a pariah entity.
عنوان: بيروت - لبنان
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