Jessica Cohen, Israeli novelist David Grossman’s longtime translator, will donate half of her share of the pair’s Man Booker International Prize winnings to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
B’Tselem, which operates in the West Bank, states its primary mission as being “to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories and ensure that its government, which rules the Occupied Territories, protects the human rights of residents there and complies with its obligations under international law.”
After accepting her award, Cohen took a moment to speak about Israel.
“To me, the Man Booker International Prize is about recognizing works that break down walls and barriers,” she said, “the fight against dehumanizing other people, or other peoples, and finding the language to express the human experiences that we all share.”
“I’m not going to waste my breath hoping for change to come from the current Israeli administration, but I do hope that Israeli and Palestinian people can rekindle whatever shred of humanism and empathy they may still have,” she continued.
Cohen, as The Times of Israel reported, was born in England and grew up in Israel.