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Jerusalem Post: Poet Joy Harjo draws fury with visit to Israel

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment | World
More on: israel, joy harjo, poetry

"Joy Harjo was on her way to Israel from Glenpool, Oklahoma, last week, having been invited by professors at Tel Aviv University to perform and do a reading for students. The feminist American Indian poet, writer and musician accepted the invitation, unaware of the firestorm that awaited her.

“This public thing is excruciating,” she says, in an interview last week with The Jerusalem Post in her Tel Aviv hotel room.

Upon landing in Houston, en route to Tel Aviv, Harjo, who is half Cherokee and half Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the author of seven works of poetry, checked her e-mail. She had received messages from fellow Native scholars, artists and activists, all begging her not to go to Israel and imploring her to sign her name to the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, pledging not to set foot in the country as it de facto meant she supported the government’s policies regarding the Palestinians.

“If you go, you’re supporting the subjugation of Palestinian people,” they told her, she recalls. “I was getting hate mail immediately,” also via social media. Most puzzling, she says, was why these calls only came once she had left the country – her schedule having been booked and public knowledge for some time."

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Crazy Brave (Jerusalem Post 12/18)

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