The Harry Potter wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling has been a worldwide phenomenon; perhaps this gives Ms. Rowling the background needed to compare the trials and tribulations of beloved Professors Dumbledore and Snape to condemning the thought of a cultural boycott of Israel. In her own words, the author states that it is her belief that “the sharing of art and literature across the borders constitutes an immense power for good in this world.” Art and literature appreciation does have the power the unite the world in a positive way; however a dialog of that appreciation usually doesn’t end wars or create peace treaties between nations who venomously disagree on cultural platforms and beliefs.
On Tuesday, October 27, EW reported that Rowling, along with Wolf Hall, author Hilary Mantel, and scores of other British cultural figures, penned a letter that disapproves of the Israel boycott and celebrates a cross-cultural dialogue. TwitLonger, where the Harry Potter creator began a conversation entitled “Cultural boycotts,” was the chosen venue to answer readers’ desire for her to elaborate her position.
The Telegraph reports about Rowling’s recent tweets that blast the Israeli government for its brutal and unjust treatment of Palestinian and the Israeli government held accountable. She says “Boycotting Israel on every possible front has its allure. It satisfies the human urge to do something, anything, in the face of horrific human suffering.”
On the flip side, Rowling doesn’t seem to acknowledge or counteroffer condemnation for the brutal Palestinians knife attacks delivered to random Israelis or the terrifying threats by the Iranian mullahs to give the Jewish state a nuclear holocaust. Based on her communications, it leads one to believe that Israel’s enemies will not be held to account for their actions.
For those who are in the process of reading the Harry Potter series for the first time, the remaining article contains a large spoiler that will impact your suspenseful enjoyment of the complete series. Please consider that continuing to read this article will reveal major details that the reader should not know until the end of the series.
The conversation on TwitLonger centered on a back story created for Dumbledore and Snape which Rowling calls “Why Dumbledore went to the hilltop”. The story is about when the Hogwarts headmaster and professor met on a hilltop to discuss the possibility of a double agent agreement. Because of Snape’s love for Lily, Dumbledore was able to lead him back to the good side by convincing him to leak deatheater (the enemy) information to the Order of the Phoenix (the good side). This is the type of dialog that Rowling and others would prefer rather than a full cultural boycott; the role of deatheaters played by Israelis and the role of non deathers played by Palestinians.
The bottom line for the story was that Dumbledore always seeks the most moral path available and if the series has a conscience, it lies within Dumbledore’s heart. From Rowling’s comments, we can gather that the path to cultural equality is best won by sitting down for a nice chat. Tea anyone?