The organisers of a German literary award are rethinking their decision to give the prize to British-Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie over her support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Shamsie was announced as the winner of the Nelly Sachs Prize, named after a Jewish poet and Nobel laureate and organised and funded by the city of Dortmund, on 10 September.
The biennial award is given to a writer whose work celebrates tolerance, respect and reconciliation. winners receive 15,000 euros ($16,500) as prize money.
Although a spokesperson for Dortmund city council confirmed that the jurors’ decision was being reviewed after a German blogger highlighted Shamsie’s support for BDS, which seeks to put economic pressure on the Israeli government over human rights abuses against Palestinians.
In May, the German parliament passed a motion condemning the BDS movement as antisemitic.
It accused BDS of utilising methods used by the Nazi movement during the Holocaust.
The BDS movement, which was founded in 2005 by Palestinian activists, accused Germany of “complicity in Israel’s crimes of military occupation, ethnic cleansing, siege and apartheid”.