Friday, June 14, 2024

Dear Authors' Guild Leadership: Anti-Semitism has "no two sides to the story."


              Dear Authors’ Guild Leadership;

         In recent months, anti-Semitism in the USA has reared its ugly head. It has manifested its vile words and actions in every public sphere, and soon found a target in Jewish authors and writers. The calls to ban Jewish authors’ books and to force mainstream publishers such as HarperCollins and Macmillan's to “deplatform” their Jewish authors has been exploding unchecked on social media, such as TikTok, Instagram and X.

            Beyond words, actions have soon followed. Scheduled Jewish authors’ events have been canceled and many venues would not invite them to present. Agents are turning down manuscripts by Jewish writers or are firing Jewish clients whose work they had agreed to represent. These gate-keepers of the publishing world know that acquisition editors will not buy them.  

            The virulent anti-Semitism against Jewish authors in the USA has been documented in recent articles in the New York Times and the New York Post. In the UK, The British Telegraph reported that half of British publishers will not accept manuscripts by Jewish authors. Yet the Authors’ Guild, which should have been the first to raise its voice in indignation over the atrocious hate-fest against a significant portion of its members, has been kept mum.

            Silence is loud. Silence is screaming. The Authors’ Guild which has spoken in no uncertain terms against banning books, which has taken pride in advocating for authors, and which declares in its mission statement to serve as the voice for authors, is yet to issue a statement of disgust and condemnation of the hate speech and outright actions taken against its Jewish members.

            In 1933, in over 20 cities in Germany, fires were set to burn books written by Jews. Those books were the cornerstone of what we consider our Western civilization, written by Franz Werfel, Max Brod, Stefan Zweig,  Einstein, and Freud among them. German newspapers triumphantly reported that “Germany was purging itself of Jews” because silencing and destroying Jewish voices was only an early step to what we all now know came next.

            The Holocaust did not begin with incinerators. It began with words.

            In 2020, the Authors’ Guild passed a resolution against racism. Isn’t the singling out Jewish authors not only for discrimination and scorn but also for actions against them is the ultimate racism? We, Jewish members of the Authors’ Guild—and Jewish writers everywhere—deserve the same consideration, sympathy, and protection that you have generously and rightfully extended to our brothers and sisters who are Black writers and writers of color.

            What has happened to your moral compass that you allow attacks on Jewish authors go on for months without a response?

            Dear leaders of the Authors’ Guild: Anti-Semitism has no “two sides of the story.” It has one side, and it is ugly and dangerous. Unless you speak up, you are taking the position of the evil.



 Talia Carner

Authors’ Guild Member since 1997


This letter was sent to with the request to distribute it to each person in a leadership, council, honorary, or staff role.  

AN UPDATE: In late June 2024, The Authors' Guild issued a statement:

"The Authors Guild condemns censoring, threatening, or blacklisting authors. We are aware of recent incidents in which presses have refused to publish articles and speaking engagements have been canceled based on the writer’s religious or national identity or their views relating to Israel or Palestine, as well as attempts to “blacklist” authors. We abhor antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry and discrimination intended to chill writers’ freedom of expression."   



1 comment:

  1. There are more and more Jewish writers being intimidated, and unable to promote their work