“Jews and Arabs will not be enemies”
In late December it was very quietly announced that Borderlife, a novel by Dorit Rabinyan was to be banned in Israeli curriculum because it risked damaging the ‘identity of the nation’. The ban has been met with much protest with critics accusing the government of censorship, but our favourite protest has to be the Kissing Protest put together by Time Out, Tel Aviv who have brought together Jews and Arabs from Israel, gay and straight, to kiss for a video.
Many of them were complete strangers, some were couples, all of them want to show that the mistrust between Jews and Arabs is government led and that the people see each other as human and equal. It seems that no matter how much our governments pit us against each other, love is finally winning out to a certain extent. See for yourself!
Borderlife was banned by the Israeli Education minister a few weeks ago, despite being published back in 2014. The book follows a love affair between a Jewish women and a Palestinian Man. Borderlife previously received Israel’s prestigious Bernstein literary prize but it’s now been deemed that the book’s content is unfit for high school students ‘who tend to romanticise and don’t have a systematic point of view that includes considerations about preserving the identity of the nation and the significance of assimilation.’
To put the banning into perspective, the Israeli curriculum includes Khirbet Khizeh, a 1949 novel about the expulsion of Arabs from a fictional village by Israeli soldiers, and A Trumpet in the Wadi, a 1987 novel about a love affair between a Jewish man and a Christian Arab woman.
You would imagine that the Jewish people would know more than most how important tolerance of the belief of others is, and how in the end we are all the same. To quote a line from a book I love…
‘We are all Made of Glue’