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Hay Festival drops sponsor after boycott over ties to Israel

May 25, 2024 at 12:54 pm

Singer Charlotte Church (3rd L) is seen as people gather to stage demonstration to show solidarity with Palestinians and to demand immediade ceasefire for Gaza on March 09, 2024 in London, United Kingdom. [Raşid Necati Aslım – Anadolu Agency]

The Hay Festival, an annual literally event, has dropped its main sponsor after a number of writers and contributors boycotted because of its links to the apartheid state of Israel.

Welsh singer Charlotte Church, who has been vocal in her rejection of Israel’s attack on children in Gaza, was one of those due to speak at the event. In a post on social media, Church said she pulled out of the event “due to the continuing sponsorship of the “festival by asset manager Baillie Gifford, I will be boycotting and not attending.”

This comes after the Fossil Free Books campaign called for a boycott, highlighting that Ballie Gifford has £10 billion worth of investments in companies with links to “the Israeli occupation security apparatus and genocide of Palestinians,” Church said in a statement.

READ: Hamas demands pressure on occupation to adhere to ICJ decision: ‘We expect an order to stop genocide’

“Your arts festival is not more important that the lives of Palestinian children,” she added.

Announcing news that the organisers have dropped their sponsor, Fossil Free Books said: “This shows the power we have when we unite as workers, and remain steadfast in our solidarity with Palestine.”