ZBEIDAT, West Bank—The electricity in the village went out for the third time on a warm July night. But the young men, some in their teens, didn’t want to stop playing cards. A few took out their mobile phones to project some light on the patio’s low table outside Amjad’s house, the regular hangout for a dozen or so of the young men of Zbeidat, a village of 1,870 in the northern West Bank. Three minutes later, the lights flicked back on, illuminating the cards strewn across the table, the young men’s grinning faces, and a few additional patio areas outside other Zbeidat homes, where men were drinking tea or coffee and talking. On Amjad’s patio, Hamza Zbeidat, a Palestinian from the village, and Christopher Whitman, a New Englander from the United States, were sitting with the guys, some teenagers in...

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