The flier that was handed to McEwan contains this message:
Ian McEwan did not need to receive the Jerusalem Prize in order to come to Israel/Palestine and express his views. Distinguished scholars, such as Judith Butler and Naomi Klein have visited Sheikh Jarah and other parts of Israel's backyard, without legitimizing those responsible for the crimes of apartheid and occupation committed there. By accepting the Jerusalem Prize, McEwan has allowed the perpetrators of these crimes, such as Nir Barkat, to exploit the occasion, and disseminate the blatant lie "we promote tolerance here in Jerusalem, an open city". When families in east Jerusalem are expelled from their homes to make way for Kahanist settlers, and when 9 year old children in Silwan are abducted from their beds by the Israeli police in the middle of the night, this city is neither tolerant nor open. Furthermore, McEwan's compliments to Israeli "democracy" are vacuous in view of these facts. McEwan has assisted the Israeli establishment in conveying a false message of "business as usual". He should return the prize, and atone for shaking the hands of apartheid and occupation.According to the organizers, the man holding the banner is the great grandson of Shmuel Yosef Agnon, a literature Nobel laureate.