HARRY POTTER author JK Rowling hopes to broker “peaceful co-existence” in the middle east’s bloodiest and most enduring conflict.
The 50-year old novelist joined 150 other arts luminaries to advocate a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. The open letter, published in the The Guardian newspaper two days ago, also called a recent cultural boycott of Israel “discriminatory”.
Many of the other signatories, including several Tory MPs, are members of Friends of Israel or similar groups around the UK. There are no Palestinian names on the list.
Mrs Rowling has been at the centre of bitter disputes with her own neighbours in recent years, a fact which she does not include in the letter.
The letter states: “”We will be seeking to inform and encourage dialogue about Israel and the Palestinians in the wider cultural and creative community.
“While we may not all share the same views on the policies of the Israeli government, we all share a desire for peaceful coexistence.
It goes on: “Cultural boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory, and will not further peace.
“Open dialogue and interaction promote greater understanding and mutual acceptance, and it is through such understanding and acceptance that movement can be made towards a resolution of the conflict.
“Ultimately we all believe in a two-state solution so that the national self-determination of both peoples is realised, with the state of Israel and a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security.
“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.”
Last week, it was reported that British-born Israeli tour guide Emmanuel Kushner uses the word “Voldemort” instead of Temple Mount, in a bid to prevent confrontations whilst giving tours of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Mrs Rowling lives in a milti-million pound house in an exclusive suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland, which she bought in 2010.
In July, a four-day traffic jam was caused when she decided to have a hedge cut.
She also flattened the £1 million house next door to her mansion to make her garden bigger.
And she also had two 40ft luxurious Hogwarts-style tree houses built in the grounds, to the horror of her neighbours.