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VIDEO: Jews and Arabs Kiss to Protest Israeli Schools’ Snubbing of Novel
Posted on Jan 9, 2016
By Juan Cole / Informed Comment
This piece first appeared at Truthdig contributor Juan Cole’s website.
Dorit Rabinyan’s novel Borderlife treats a love affair in New York between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man, which ends when they return to their respective homes. The novel began being assigned by those inveterate social radicals, the High School Teachers, in Israel. But then senior officials of the ministry of education banned the book. Later they said it wasn’t banned and could be taught, but would not form part of any examination. (In education systems with year-end examinations, elective material that cannot appear on the exam is usually not much taught).
Ms. Rabinyan explains the block here.
In the United States, the rate of out-marriage among American Jews is about 50%; many Israelis, whether Jews, Christians or Muslims, do not approve of of mixed marriages. Taboos on intermarriage in the US collapsed in the mid-1960s, apparently as a result of the influence on young people of the Civil Rights movement. 39% of American marriages in the past five years were interfaith. Of course, many Americans have ceased marrying at all, and those informal unions are also often interfaith. 45% of American Muslims also marry outside their faith.
The high-handed intervention of the ministry of education has been met with protests. Some 5,000 readers went out and bought the novel in just 1 week.
Then TimeOut Tel Aviv, the lifestyle site, made a video of Jews and Arabs kissing, which has gone viral:
In August of 2014, the far right wing Lehava movement shouted “death to Arabs” outside a mixed wedding, where a Jewish woman had actually converted so as to marry her beloved. I wrote at that time:
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