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London’s Free Palestine protest 30
Photography Nahwand Jaff

Sally Rooney, Nan Goldin, and more back letter calling for a free Palestine

Palestinian artists, writers, and allies have demanded an end to Israel’s violent colonisation and urged global powers to cease supporting its military

Sally Rooney, Nan Goldin, Mykki Blanco, and Naomi Klein are among thousands of artists, writers, and musicians who are supporting an open letter written by Palestinian creatives, which calls for an end to Israeli’s violent occupation and colonisation.

Titled A Letter Against Apartheid, the letter rejects the notion that the Israel-Palestine crisis is “a war between two equal sides”, calling the label “false and misleading”. Signatories also urge global powers to cease supporting the state’s military, and call on individuals to “exercise their agency to help dismantle the apartheid regime of our time”.

The letter reads: “Palestinians are being attacked and killed with impunity by Israeli soldiers and armed Israeli civilians. Several lynchings of unarmed and unprotected Palestinians have already taken place in the last two weeks. Families in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah continue to face ethnic cleansing and displacement from their homes. These acts of murder, intimidation, and violent dispossession are protected, if not actively encouraged, by the Israeli government and police.”

“In the face of the increased mortal danger of the past two weeks, Palestinians are uniting once again. In Palestine and across the world, vast numbers are taking to the streets, organizing on social media, defending their homes, protecting each other, and demanding an end to ethnic cleansing, apartheid, discrimination and dispossession.”

Addressing the censorship enforced by governments across the world – namely “conflating legitimate criticism of the State of Israel and its policies towards Palestinians with antisemitism” – the letter says: “It is time to stand up to these tactics of silencing and overcome them. Millions of people around the world see in Palestinians a microcosm of their own oppression and hopes, and allies such as Black Lives Matter and Jewish Voice for Peace, along with indigenous rights, feminist, and queer activists, among many others, are increasingly vocal in their support.” 

It concludes: “We ask you to be brave. We ask you to come forward, speak up and take a clear public stand against this ongoing injustice in Palestine. Apartheid must be dismantled. No one is free until we are all free.”

Other allies listed under the letter include Olivia Laing, Boots Riley, Laurie Anderson, Nicolàs Jaar, Deborah Levy, Annie Sprinkle, Brian Eno, Run the Jewels, Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen, Thandiwe Newton, Mira Nair, Marianne Faithfull, Jeremy Irons, Eileen Myles, Kara Walker, and many more. Among the Palestinian signatories is writer Mohammed El-Kurd, whose eloquent interviews with major broadcasters have amassed viral attention over the last month.

Read the full letter here, and look back at Dazed’s guide on how to talk about Palestine here.