Oz wins inaugural Turin prize
Amos Oz is the first recipient of a new literary prize awarded by the International Book Fair in Turin. The Israeli author was chosen by popular vote over Paul Auster and Carlos Fuentes, the other finalists for the prize of 25,000 euros. More than 6,000 exhibitors, editors, journalists and visitors to the fair – one of Europe’s most important annual literary events – took part in the vote. A record 315,000 visitors attended this year’s event.
Violence in Gaza
Israeli soldiers killed two armed men on May 21 who had infiltrated Israel from Gaza. Earlier in the night, the Israeli air force struck at two arms-smuggling tunnels in retaliation for the firing on Shavuot of a Qassam rocket into the western Negev. The rocket didn’t cause any damage or injuries. The last rocket attack occurred 10 days ago, when a Qassam landed near Ashkelon. Israel’s military bombed two targets in Gaza in retaliation for that attack.
Chomsky barred from Israel
Noam Chomsky was to lecture to Bir Zeit University students via video conference from Amman after he was denied entry into Israel and the West Bank. Chomsky, 81, an American Jewish linguist who is a fierce critic of Israeli and American policies, was detained recently for four hours by Israeli security officials at the Allenby Bridge entry point from Jordan. The professor emeritus from MIT was scheduled to deliver a lecture at Bir Zeit University near Ramallah, in the West Bank. Sabine Hadad, a spokesperson for Israel’s Interior Ministry, told the Jerusalem Post that the decision to deny Chomsky entry was a “misunderstanding.” The Association for Civil Rights in Israel strongly condemned the decision to deny Chomsky entry from Jordan to the West Bank.
PA urges boycott on W. Bank goods
The Palestinian Authority has launched a boycott against products manufactured in West Bank Jewish towns. The official boycott against 500 specific products began May 19. A list of products that the PA has ordered to be boycotted will reportedly be sent to West Bank Palestinian homes in the coming weeks. Any Palestinian merchant caught dealing in the banned products faces fines and jail time. “This is an act of hostility with all intents and purposes on the part of the Palestinian Authority and its leaders, and it must be answered immediately and decisively just like any other act of hostility,” the Yesha Council settlers group said in a statement last week. “This is a clear violation of the Paris Protocol which regulates the economic relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel must use the Palestinian Authority’s funds in its possession to compensate the boycotted factories.”
With files from JTA & Ha’aretz