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Anger sweeps West Bank, Jewish dissident censored

Ma'an News Agency

Dozens of Palestinians were injured as protests were held across the West Bank in support of Gaza under its third day of Israeli bombardment Nov. 16. At Kafr Kaddum village, a youth was hospitalized after a tear gas canister hit him in the back of the head. Hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis and foreign activists joined a march in the village, holding banners saying "Relief of Gaza." In Bethlehem, Israeli forces fired tear gas and a foul-smelling chemical liquid as protesters gathered outside Aida refugee camp to support Gaza—and another youth was hit in the head with a tear gas canister. In Jenin, a youth was wounded by rubber bullets in clashes with Israeli forces near the Jalama crossing into Israel. Protesters who gathered at the Enav checkpoint east of Tulkarem after Friday prayers were also met with rubber bullets and tear gas. Near Ramallah, four were arrested at a demonstration in Nabi Saleh and two Palestinians were injured in a protest in Bilin village condemning the assault on Gaza. Near Hebron, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians at a weekly demonstration in Beit Ummar, dedicated in solidarity with the Gaza Strip. In Hebron city, political and religious figures led a march to the main square, demanding the Arab world do more to stop the bombardment of Gaza. Marches were also held in Ramallah and Nablus. (Ma'an News Agency, Nov. 16)

Meanwhile in the US, author Peter Beinart—whose book The Crisis of Zionism portrays Jewish youth breaking with automatuc support for Israel—was banned from a Jewish book festival in Atlanta. He spoke the night of Nov. 14 at a sold-out event at an alternate location. "This experience has taught me I should be boycotted more often," Beinart quipped to a packed room.

Beinart was one of 52 writers invited to speak at the Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, which attracts some 10,000 each year. Festival organizers canceled his scheduled appearance under pressure from local Jewish leaders—sparking what the Associated Press called "a backlash to the backlash."

Beinart was then scheduled to speak at a smaller venue in downtown Atlanta, some 20 miles from the festival site at the suburban community center. The 200 seats at the new location quickly sold out. Beinart, a professor at the City University of New York, told AP: "The problem is not that Jews live in the West Bank. It is today the West Bank is a place where, contrary to the vision of Israel’s founders, citizenship is ethnically based, where Jews and Palestinians live under a different law." (AP, Nov. 14)

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