J.K. Rowling defended her opposition to a cultural boycott of Israel with an analogy from her “Harry Potter” book series.
The author has faced backlash since joining 150 prominent British figures in signing an open letter, published in The Guardian last week, that endorsed cultural engagement with Israel rather than a cultural boycott, as a way to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Rowling - whose “Harry Potter” books sold 400 million copies and were adapted into the second-highest grossing film series of all time - used Albus Dumbledore, a headmaster of Hogwarts wizarding school in the series, to make a moral point about the need for dialogue and cultural engagement with Israel.
“Dumbledore is an academic and he believes that certain channels of communication should always remain open,” Rowling wrote today in a post on TwitLonger, a website that supports sharing longer messages on Twitter.
She referred in the post to a moment in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the final book in the series, when Dumbledore chooses to meet Severus Snape, a mysterious professor at Hogwarts, on a hilltop at a time when Snape’s loyalties are unclear.
“At the moment when he answers Snape’s call, he cannot know that Snape isn’t going to try and kill him … Yet still, Dumbledore goes to the hilltop,” Rowling wrote.
She pointed out that Dumbledore chose to meet and speak to Snape, simply because it was the right thing to do.
Dumbledore, she concluded, is the “moral heart of the books. He did not consider all weapons equal and he was prepared, always, to go to the hilltop.”