Pakistani writer Mohammed Hanif has announced that he would no longer attend a Goethe Institute conference being held in Hamburg, Germany, after Mohammed El-Kurd, a Palestinian writer and poet, was disinvited. The conference is to be held from June 23 to 26.

“Withdrawing from @goerheinstut’s Hamburg conference where they first invited and then disinvited Palestinian journalist and poet Mohammed El Kurd. Reason is even more offensive. Apparently Kurd is not respectful enough towards Israel. How do you say bugger off in German?,” wrote Hanif.

“Mohammed El Kurd’s house was taken over by settlers when he was elven. Kurd and his sister Muna have been protesting since they were children. Haven’t read much Goethe but I don’t think he wanted the world to be respectful towards a ruthless apartheid regime,” Hanif wrote in another tweet.

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Hanif was invited to talk about the Dynamics of Right Wing Structures.

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Goeth Institute on June 17 tweeted that El-Kurd was “not an appropriate speaker for this forum: in previous posts on social media, he had made several comments about Israel in a way the Goethe-Institut does not find acceptable”.

Who is Mohammed El-Kurd?

Kurd is an internationally acclaimed award-winning writer from Jerusalem-occupied Palestine. His work has been featured in numerous international outlets and he is currently the Palestine correspondent for The Nation. RIFQA, his debut collection of poetry, was published by Haymarket Books.

Kurd has been quite vocal about Israeli occupation and atrocities in Palestine.