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Anti-Sematism stops Winnetka booking signing? WTF?

A guy who's pro Isreal can't even attend a book signing along Chicago's affluent North Shore? This is nuts. It wasn't this way in the recent past.


If Isreal's objective was to eliminate Hamas and stop Iran from promoting terrorism as the boss & 100% financier of Hamas they have failed miserably. Most sources estimate the IDF has killed or eliminated less than 35% of Hamas forces.


What Israel has done is to destroy the lives of 2 million most innocent Palestinians and turn global public opinion solidly against them. Anti-semitism is going through the roof and will continue to grow. As a Jew I'm not sure what about this scenario I'm supposed to like?


Who's ever running the show (Bibi and his band of misfits) is not producing the desired results. What's laughable are the idiots who believe he didn't have many other military options that would have worked 100x better. That's not even remotely true.


Isreal screwed the pooch and the US messed up as well by funding this ill conceived military campaign.


‘Stranger Things’ actor’s Winnetka book signing canceled due to safety concerns over his support of Israel


The Book Stall in Winnetka said it canceled Highland Park native Brett Gelman’s March 20 book signing because they didn’t think they “could guarantee the comfort and security” of attendees. The actor and comedian believes his appearance could have drawn protests due to his support for Israel. “It was heartbreaking. Infuriating,” he told Sneed.

By Michael Sneed, Suntimes

Feb 16, 2024


He's a seasoned actor and comedian. Then he wrote a book.


But what happened next wasn’t funny.


Highland Park native Brett Gelman, 47, has built a successful career acting and making people laugh.


After inking a lot of yay-hoo in the 2010 hit BBC TV comedy “Fleabag,” Gelman recently signed onto his fifth season in the smash Netflix supernatural-horror series “Stranger Things.” He plays a conspiracy theorist and former journalist named Murray Bauman.

And now, Gelman, who is Jewish, has authored a book of short stories about five characters. It’s titled The Terrifying Realm of the Possible: Nearly True Stories.


Gelman described it to Sneed as “darkly comedic, a way to purge my anxiety and self-hatred, a book which is quite Jewish in a very Jewish way — but NOT POLITICAL in any way — and darkly absurd. One of the characters is dead, a member of the afterlife.”


It may sound a lot like Gelman’s crazy, comedic career, but that’s when “strange” things really began to happen.


“Like when my publisher [HarperCollins/Dey Street] informed me recently that two bookstores had canceled my book appearances next month,” said Gelman.


One was The Book Stall in Winnetka, the other The Book Passage in San Francisco.


“It was heartbreaking. Infuriating,” Gelman said, noting the Winnetka bookstore is near his Highland Park hometown.


“They pulled out … apparently didn’t feel safe promoting the book,” said Gelman, noting his informed belief was that the cancellation was over “possible safety threats due to public protest intimidation.”


Book Stall owner Stephanie Hochschild tells Sneed: "As a small, independent bookstore, our first responsibility is customer and employee safety. The Brett Gelman book event would prove to be more controversial than we could as a small business have handled.


"We have supported Jewish authors — and authors from many walks of life — during our proud 75-year history," Hochschild said. "Starting on March 19 when the book is published, we are featuring his book. Antisemitism or hate of any kind has no place at the Book Stall."

A spokesman for the store — which, for the record, is also Sneed’s favorite book haunt — added that they withdrew "not in an attempt to suppress his debut book of humorous short stories, but due to security concerns. We did not feel our small bookshop could guarantee the comfort and security of the staff, the community or the author due to issues unrelated to the book."


Gelman believes his or any “support of Israel” has also resulted in “antisemitism and anti-Israel threats,” specifically noting his signature along with 200 others, including actors David Schwimmer of “Friends” fame and actress Debra Messing of “Will & Grace,” asking the Motion Picture Academy to stop perpetuating antisemitism.


“I was really looking forward to seeing my old friends and what’s left of my North Shore relatives,” Gelman told Sneed. “It was going to be a reunion of sorts. A special event.’

Gelman says the two bookstore cancellations were part of a four-city tour for his book.

“The other appearances in New York and West Hollywood in mid-March are still on the books,” he said last week.


But the two cancellations still bother him.


“It’s a mistake to think because we advocate for our own people, that we advocate harm to the other,” he said. “I believe in the solidarity of the Jewish people, but I am not anti-Palestinian. Or anti-Islam. I am anti-Hamas terrorists, but I also think [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is problematic and not who the Israeli people want as their leader.

“This whole thing is a nightmare,” he added.


“But the Jewish community has banded together in the face of antisemitism becoming normalized.”


The crisis of the unhoused …


Father Michael Pfleger might have been wholly ghosted by two Democratic National Committee honchos during the protest fighting rampant homelessness that the activist priest led outside a Chicago Union League luncheon last Thursday.

But Sneed hears a major meeting is in the works. Pfleger, who is pitching for a federally funded commitment to provide housing for the unhoused before the DNC meets here in August, has been contacted via a Biden hotline about a meeting with a U.S. Housing and Urban Development rep next week.



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