Israeli government censors book about love

This video from Israel says about itself:


3 November 2015


From daily Haaretz in Israel:

Principals, Teachers Decry Banning of Arab-Jewish Love Story From Schools

Fear is overtaking reason, teachers association says, after Education Ministry rejects novel about relationship between Israeli woman and Palestinian man.

Or Kashti and Jonathan Lis Dec 31, 2015 5:31 PM

From daily The Guardian in Britain, 1 January 2016:

Novel about Jewish-Palestinian love affair is barred from Israeli curriculum

Government accused of censorship after reportedly saying the award-winning Borderlife by Dorit Rabinyan risked damaging the ‘identity of the nation’

From the New York Times in the USA:

Isaac Herzog of the center-left Zionist Union, which leads the parliamentary opposition, said on Facebook on Thursday: “Tell me, are the People of the Book afraid of books? Are the People of the Book afraid of stories? Or would it be more accurate to say that their education minister is afraid of books and stories? This is a dark worldview that does not believe in the judgment of the public, or a younger generation that is much more involved than previous generations.”

Mr. Herzog said he bought several copies of Ms. Rabinyan’s “wonderful” book on Thursday. Several bookstores said they had sold out of the novel, which tells the story of an Israeli woman from Tel Aviv who falls in love with a Palestinian born in the West Bank city of Hebron after a chance encounter in New York.

Ms. Rabinyan, the author, said that the book was not meant to be provocative. “Let’s say that it’s strength lies in its subtlety,” she told Ynet in a video interview. “Perhaps there is even a conservative Zionist stance in it,” she said, but she added that whoever read it in the education ministry clearly did not read it from that perspective. The book, she said, was “only a mirror” of the complexity of life in Israel.

See also here.

4 thoughts on “Israeli government censors book about love


    The Israel Police, careening from embarrassing scandal to embarrassing scandal, finally figured out what’s undermining Israel’s social order: Playwright and video artist Natali Cohen Vaxberg, whose claim to fame is a video of herself defecating on the flags of 40 nations, including that of Israel.
    Cohen Vaxberg, who makes provocative art criticizing national and patriotic values, has been questioned by the police no fewer than five times on suspicion of defacing religious and state symbols and hurting the public’s feelings. During the latest round of questioning, police took an interest in her YouTube channel and Facebook page and asked who was running them.
    The harassment campaign against Cohen Vaxberg began in November 2014, after she was arrested in connection with the video. She was held overnight at the Abu Kabir detention facility and, after being brought before a judge, committed to house arrest for two days. Her cell phone and her computer were confiscated for three months and she was forbidden to use the Internet for 30 days.
    Though never indicted, Cohen Vaxberg has twice been called in for police questioning since her house arrest and police have twice arrived at her home without notice to take her in for questioning.
    Beyond the disproportionate attention that the Israel Police are giving Cohen Vaxberg, her testimony highlights the rather surreal nature of the interrogations. “In the most recent questioning, they asked me about a picture of myself with a teddy bear wrapped in an Israeli flag that looks like I am about to defecate on it. They asked what the message of the picture was. I said it seemed clear to me and I didn’t intend to explain. They asked whether I remembered when I posted the picture, and I said I didn’t remember and that they should ask the bear. Even the policeman couldn’t help laughing.”
    If this weren’t the state’s central law enforcement arm, and if this weren’t an outrageous waste of public money, the police’s conduct in the Cohen Vaxberg affair would make for excellent satire.
    But the Israel Police’s persecution of Cohen Vaxberg is no joke. It reveals a bad, McCarthyist spirit, which encourages attempts to silence those at all critical of the authorities – even if it’s legitimate artistic criticism, which is not only permissible but also necessary in a democratic society. The Israel Police must immediately halt its foolish witch hunt against Cohen Vaxberg and focus on its crucial role in a democratic state.

    Shit instead of blood

    a video in response to the shit-on-a-flag and the arrest”

    The Holocaust visit to Yad Vashem


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