Scottish writer’s stand on Palestine

There’s sad news about Iain Banks, the Scottish novelist. He has cancer, and only months to live.
His brilliantly imaginative novels include The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road, and he can also write in a lighter vein. I liked his satirical post-9/11 thriller Dead Air.
There must have been something in the air in the county of Fife when he was growing up. Writers Val McDermid and Ian Rankin are of the same generation and the three grew up within a few miles of each other.
Banks is going down fighting. He has made a strong statement in support of the cultural boycott of Israel and against that state’s “collective punishment of the Palestinian people”. He’s a great admirer of the Jewish people, going so far as to admit that they may have contributed more to world culture than even the Scots. Of all people, he says, the Jews best know what it is to be persecuted en masse. But “the solution to the dispossession and persecution of one people can never be to dispossess and persecute another”.
A participant years ago in the boycott of apartheid South Africa, he says sporting sanctions would have little impact on Israelis. Cultural action will be more effective.
His statement is published in full by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) in a book entitled Generation Palestine, just out in the UK.

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