After a wave of protest over her decision to cancel a scheduled speech by a Palestinian-American author, the Evanston Public Library’s director has reinstated the event and the author has again agreed to appear.
Writer Ali Abunimah had been — and now is again — scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11, about his book “The Battle for Justice in Palestine” that was published earlier this year.
In a blog post late Monday evening, Abunimah wrote:
I have no doubt that this reversal owes much to the many people – including a number of professional librarians – who wrote to Evanston Public Library to express their concern at the cancelation.
I am truly grateful to everyone for their support. Gone are the days when institutions could quietly push aside the question of Palestine.
Library Director Karen Danczak Lyons did not address the controversy during a brief appearance at a City Council Human Services Committee meeting Monday evening.
But in a statement published on the library’s website Monday afternoon, she said the talk, which had been deleted from the library’s calendar, was back on — assuming Abunimah was still willing to appear.
In an email message Abunimah said he had received Saturday, the library official who had initially scheduled the appearance said Danczak Lyons told her to cancel the event because she hadn’t yet been able to schedule another speaker to present a pro-Israel point of view.