German Literary Authority is reconsidering their award for British-Pakistani novelist, Kamila Shamsie owing to her support for the Pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction Movement.
Kamila was announced the winner of the Nelly Sachs Prize, named after Jewish poet and Nobel Laureate with the award being organized and funded by the city of Dortmund, on September 10th.
A spokesperson of the Dortmund City Council confirmed the jury is considering to rescind its decision to award Kamila Shamsie following German blogger’s objections on the author’s unflinching support for BDS Movement.
The spokesperson further added that the jury members were not aware of Kamila Shamsie’s endorsement of the BDS Movement when they gave her the Nelly Sachs Award.
The biennial award is given to an author whose work reflects, “Tolerance, respect and reconciliation,” with winners receiving 15,000 euros ($16,500) cash prize.
In a statement released on September 11th, Dortmund city council stated: “At the time of the decision, none of the jurors knew that Kamila Shamsie had supported the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) campaign in the past.”
Adding that the final decision is expected to be made within days, with the prize to be formally awarded in December.
Kamila Shamsie expressed her delight over receiving the Nelly Sachs Prize. “I am quite clear that there is no contradiction between supporting BDS and receiving this award,” she said.
She added that the announcement of award coincided with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political assertions of annexing the one-third of the Occupied West Bank, part of his electoral campaign.