Netanyahu Book Reading Canceled

( — After public backlash, the German-Israel Friendship Association, a non-governmental organization funded by Germany’s Foreign Ministry, has canceled a book reading featuring Dr. Iddo Netanyahu. According to Netanyahu, an Israeli physician whose brother serves as Israel’s prime minister, the organization canceled his scheduled book reading featuring excerpts from Itamar K, which focuses on limiting people’s freedom of speech.

Netanyahu discussed the canceled book reading during an interview with i24News and said the non-governmental organization informed him about the cancelation via a letter. Netanyahu responded to the letter by stating he understood the organization’s reasoning for canceling the book reading and that his book features themes related to silencing other people and their ability to speak freely. Following the cancelation, online commenters pointed out that while the organization claims to support international relations between Germany and Israel, preventing Netanyahu from talking about his novel indicates a disconnect between the organization’s message and reality.

The organization released a statement about the cancellation, claiming it chose to prevent Netanyahu from reading his book due to his association with German far-right groups. Netanyahu responded to the accusations by claiming that Germany’s radical left has taken leadership roles within the non-governmental organization and doesn’t want to give Israel a chance for a positive public reception. Netanyahu also said the Germany-based organization isn’t interested in hearing him speak due to his differing beliefs. Some online audiences have cited the book reading cancelation as another example of cancel culture preventing someone’s ability to speak freely.

Several people, including Netanyahu and other Jewish officials, accused Volker Beck, the president of the non-governmental organization, of allowing political bias to influence his decision to cancel Netanyahu’s book reading. The book reading isn’t the only controversy surrounding Beck, who once served in Germany’s parliament before being removed due to a drug scandal. Beck also expressed support for Palestine during his time in Germany’s parliament, claiming that countries shouldn’t provide aid to Israel without restricting the nation’s actions against Palestinians.

Despite the high-profile cancelation, Israel’s government hasn’t responded to the book reading controversy or Beck’s various scandals. Netanyahu has also managed to host book readings in Germany without Volker’s organization interfering and will likely continue to speak in the country without further delay from the non-governmental organization.

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