American and British media, including the BBC and NPR, have canceled events dedicated to a book by Jewish American scholar Nathan Thrall after he "showed support for Palestine" in Gaza against the occupation's aggression, critics said.

Thral reported that he reported the cancellation of all events related to his book, "A Day in the Life of Abed Salameh: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy," in which he addresses the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a writer living in Israel as he defines himself, and considered the cancellation a clear bias that would not have happened "if his book had supported the occupation."

Ads for my book were pulled from @NPR & the @BBC. I told @guardian: "I'm quite sure that a book advocating for Israel would not have had its advertisements pulled... There's an atmosphere that is wholly intolerant of any expression of sympathy for Palestinians under occupation."

— Nathan Thrall (@NathanThrall) October 21, 2023

Thrall, who worked for years as an analyst for the International Crisis Group, told the Guardian newspaper that the American broadcasters NPR and the BBC had cancelled events dedicated to discussing and promoting the book because of what they said were "listeners' complaints".

Thrall added that they refused to provide him with those complaints, the existence of which he originally questioned, commenting that if the book had defended Israel, its ads would not have been withdrawn.

"There is a climate of zero tolerance for any expression of sympathy for Palestinians living under occupation," Thral said.

Nathan Thrall is the author of A Day in the Life of Abed Salama (website)

"A Day In The Life Of Abed Salameh"

The story revolves around the character of the Palestinian Abed Salameh and his family in the suburbs of Jerusalem, and deals with a tangle of life, love, enmities and history in one tragic day.

Abed's son, Milad Salameh, 5, was excited to go on a school trip to a theme park on the outskirts of Jerusalem. But on the way, the bus collided with a semi-trailer on a highway outside Jerusalem, killing six children and one teacher, and his father heard the news of the accident and rushed to the scene.

At the scene, chaos reigned, and while the children were taken to various hospitals in Jerusalem and the West Bank, some children were missing and others were not identified. The bereaved father Abed embarks on a long journey to find out the fate of his son Milad.

As a father lives through the worst nightmare possible for any parent, it is exacerbated by the maze of physical, emotional and bureaucratic obstacles that he must overcome only because he is a Palestinian, on the wrong side of the separation barrier, carrying an identity card that is not valid for crossing military checkpoints, and carrying papers that do not entitle him under Israeli procedures to enter the city of Jerusalem.

Abed's quest to find Milad is intertwined with the stories of a group of Jewish and Palestinian characters whose lives and histories unexpectedly converge, as the author follows the tragedy of Abed Salameh to tell other stories, including the story of the separation wall, highlighting the repressive structure of the "regime" that governs Palestinians in the West Bank.

In "A Day of Abed Salameh's Life," politics seeps into every aspect of the story, and Nathan Thrall offers a human portrait of the conflict in the occupied territories and a new understanding of the tragic history and the reality of having only one state that denies others their rights.


Journalists and human rights defenders expressed their dissatisfaction with these media positions, which triumph over the Israeli narrative and silence Palestinian voices.

Former Human Rights Watch chief Kenneth Roth commented, "This is a shameful, this is a wonderful book by a very clever observer of Israel and Palestine and beautifully written, and nothing deserves that censorship from leading media outlets."

This is totally shameful. This is a wonderful book by an exceptionally astute observer of Israel and Palestine and beautifully written. There is nothing in it that merits this censorship by these leading media outlets.

— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) October 21, 2023

The UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, Francesca Alanez, wrote: "The role played by some media and institutions in these tragic times is disturbing, and the bias and intolerance that dominate the public atmosphere is a tragic reminder of the aftermath of the events of 11 September."

Sorry to hear, @NathanThrall. The role played by certain media & institutions in these tragic hours is disconcerting. Extreme manicheism, one-sideism & bigotry in public debates are a tragic reminder of the immediate post-9/11.

— Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur oPt (@FranceskAlbs) October 21, 2023

New York University professor Abigail Balbal denounced the action and commented: "This is crazy but not surprising, if events for a book by an American-Jewish author living in Israel are canceled because he is seen as too sympathetic to the Palestinians, what will happen to Arab or Muslim authors?"

This is crazy but unsurprising. If a book by a Jewish American author living in Israel is having events and ads canceled for being seen as too sympathetic to Palestinians, what will happen to Arab or Muslim authors?

— Abigail Balbale (@abigail_balbale) October 22, 2023

The cancellation of the Thral events is among many events dedicated to talking about Palestinian culture that have been canceled by international organizations during the recent period, most notably the cancellation of the Frankfurt Book Fair honoring the Palestinian writer Odaina Shibli - based in Berlin - after she won a literary prize granted by the German literary association "Letprom" for her novel "Secondary Detail" (2017).

More than 600 writers protested the cancellation of the event in a petition signed by three Nobel Prize winners in literature: French 3 winner Annie Ernault, 2022 British-Tanzanian winner Abdirizak Gherna, 2021 Polish winner Olga Tokarczuk, as well as a prestigious group of publishers and translators.

The novel is dramatized and does not include direct political details, and takes place in two separate times, telling the story of a Palestinian girl from the Negev who is raped by Israeli soldiers one year after the Palestinian Nakba, while another girl half a century later tries to search for the facts of the first crime.

The novel chronicles the Palestinian suffering, starting with displacement in the time of the Nakba and even preventing movement between areas of the Palestinian territories, according to a previous report by Al Jazeera Net.