The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

Palestinian author under cyber attack before Wisconsin Book Festival

Annie’s Letters, October 9, 2007

Palestinian author and human rights activist Susan Abulhawa has come under a cyber attack just days before she is scheduled to appear at the Wisconsin Book Festival, and one week before the Dutch edition of her book is to be released in the Netherlands.

Before this past weekend, it was discovered that all news links to “Susan Abulhawa”, “Scar of David”, and her charitable foundation “Playgrounds for Palestine” have been blocked from access on major search engines, including GOOGLE, MSN, Yahoo, and Users clicking on “NEWS” and requesting any of the three listings were unable to receive links to news coverage between October 3, 2007 and October 4, 2007, despite the fact that more than 20,000 listings were provided the day before the incident. None of the search engines have offered an explanation for the interruption. GOOGLE and MSN have not commented at all, while both Yahoo and have promised to resolve the issue.

The suspicious timing of the simultaneous blockage on multiple search engines points to an orchestrated effort to disrupt Abulhawa’s promotion of her book, with its unpopular perspectives on the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

For information contact: mark (at)