PwC Australia has joined the exodus of sponsors leaving the Adelaide Festival following the fallout over the inclusion of two Palestinian authors in the Writers’ Week who have been accused of antisemitism.
PwC Australia is the auditor of the Adelaide Festival Foundation on a pro bono basis.
“We condemn in the strongest terms any antisemitic comments and any suggestion of support for Russia’s war against Ukraine,” PwC Australia stated.
“We stand with the Jewish and Ukrainian communities who have been understandably hurt by this issue. In this respect we have asked the chair of the Adelaide Foundation that any association of PwC with this aspect of the festival be removed.”
MinterEllison and French multinational IT company Capgemini were the first to distance themselves from the Adelaide Festival.
The move was welcomed by both the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and Zionist Federation of Australia.
Peter Wertheim, CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, said Australians “rightly place a high value on the right to free speech” but added there are “proper limits of that right”.
“Adelaide Writers Week cannot be a forum for dialogue and debate when only one side of the argument about Israel is allowed to be presented by multiple speakers, with not a speaker with a contrary view being given a platform,” he said.
Adelaide Writers’ Week director Louise Adler, who us Jewsih herself, has so far held her ground on the issue.