In response to a decision by Israel’s conservative education minister to ban a novel about forbidden love between an Israeli Jew and a Palestinian Muslim, TimeOut Tel Aviv has put out a video showing Israelis and Palestinians kissing each other. Posted online on Thursday, the video shows six young couples — male, female, straight and gay — kissing for the first time. The video ends with a simple message: Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies. Within hours the video had been shared 5,500 times and seen over 100,000 times, but by evening Facebook had deleted the video, possibly due to user complaints.
The Education Ministry justified the ban of Dorit Rabinyan’s book Borderline by claiming they hoped to maintain the “identity and heritage of students” and that “…intimate relations between Jews and non-Jews threatens the separate identity.” The decision was strongly backed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, who admits he has not read the book. More liberal lawmakers have taken issue with an apparent desire “to preserve the purity of blood” by the administration. Some high school teachers say they plan to teach Borderline in class anyway, and bookstores countrywide have reported that since the decision to ban it the book’s sales have increased.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.