Ceasefire Now!

Ceasefire Now!

The pain caused by the violence in Palestine and Israel is immense. Like many in our community, we mourn all the lives lost, both Palestinian and Jewish. And as a space for writers and artists, we reject all Islamophobia and antisemitism.

We also share the belief with Fannie Lou Hamer that no one is free until everyone is free. It is at the core of our commitments to poets, writers, and artists, and central to our conception of the community that we seek to build.

Palestinians are not free. The years-long siege of Gaza. The illegal Israeli settling of the West Bank. The Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. The denial of the right of return to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to the place of their birth. The inability of Palestinians today to move freely, speak freely, protest freely. Above all, the current genocidal assault by Israel on Gaza.

We join millions of people in calling for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the Israeli's military's horrific bombing of innocent Palestinians in Gaza. We understand, support, and wish to express complete solidarity with the desire of Palestinians to live freely, and to have the power of self-determination. These are essential rights, and their denial anywhere is a wrong everywhere.

We ask too that the American literary establishment fulfill one of its most basic tasks: to support writers in speaking their conscience. In the past month, we have seen articles censored, editors fired, readings canceled, and entire literary series shut down simply because a writer expressed criticism of Israel or support for the rights of Palestinians. This is shameful, it is unacceptable, and we refuse to be complicit in the censorship of the poets and writers we exist to support.