ATLANTA (AP) — 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 at a sold-out event at an alternate location.
Peter 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 offended by Beinart’s views, festival organizers then canceled his appearance – sparking a backlash to the backlash.
“This experience has taught me I should be boycotted more often,” Beinart quipped to a packed room Wednesday night, thanking those in attendance for the hospitality he had been shown since arriving in the southern city.
A 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.