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Amos Oz wins literary prize despite boycott calls

18th May 2010

Author Amos Oz has scooped a major Italian literary prize in spite of calls for a cultural boycott of Israeli academia by lecturers in the European nation.

The writer picked up the reader's prize at the Turin International Book Fair, beating both Paul Auster and Carlos Fuentes.

According to the judges, Oz's work has become a 'vital instrument of opinion'.

However, last week a number of academics from Turin held a press conference calling for a boycott of all Israeli academic and cultural institutions until the country abides by international law.

Umberto Eco was one of the most vocal spokespersons in a campaign opposing the boycott, reports Haaretz.com.

Writing for L'espresso magazine, Eco claimed: 'I don't remotely agree with the policy of the Israeli government ... but I find the claim that most Israeli academics are actively supportive of their governments to be deceitful.'

Oz has long been a supporter of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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