Anti Settlement Author barred from Atlanta Jewish book festival
An author whose outspoken criticism of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank got him banned from a Jewish book festival in Atlanta spoke Wednesday night at a sold-out event at an alternate location.
“This experience has taught me I should be boycotted more often,” Peter Beinart quipped to a packed room, thanking those in attendance for the hospitality he had been shown since arriving in the southern city.
Beinart was originally one of 52 writers invited to speak at this week’s Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, which attracts about 10,000 people each year. Bowing to pressure from some local Jews offend by Beinart’s views, festival organizers then canceled his scheduled appearance - sparking a backlash to the backlash.
Beinart was then scheduled to speak in a smaller venue in downtown Atlanta, nearly 20 miles from the festival site at the suburban community center. The 200 seats allotted for his talk quickly sold out.
A popular blogger and associate professor of journalism and political science at The City University of New York, Beinart’s most recent book “The Crisis of Zionism” criticizes hawkish Jewish leaders in Israel and the United States for their continued support for Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories seized in 1967 during the Six-Day War.
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