No love stories allowed under Israeli apartheid

No love stories allowed under Israeli apartheid
2 min read
31 December, 2015
The Israeli education ministry has refused to include a novel about a romance between a Jew and an Arab in the high-school curriculum, causing an outcry.

Israel's Education Ministry has rejected a request to include a novel about a romance between a Jew and an Arab in the high school curriculum, because of concerns it could encourage assimilation.

Teachers had requested the book, Gader Haya (translated as Borderlife in English), be included in the ministry's reading list but its content was deemed unfit for high school students.

The Israeli daily Haaretz quoted a letter written by education official Dalia Fenig as saying the book shouldn't be included because teens cannot grasp the "significance of assimilation."

In a statement on Thursday, the ministry did not specify the reasons the book was rejected, saying only that the decision was made after weighing "advantages and disadvantages."

Gader Haya, published in 2014, tells the story of an Israeli translator and a Palestinian artist who fall in love in New York but later part ways as she returns to the Israeli city of Tel Aviv and he to Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

The story does not have a happy ending, and the Palestinian is killed off in the end.  

"In short, we can say that the author's decisions are not daring enough to produce a taboo-shattering love story.
read more," wrote Haaretz in a review at the time.   

In the past mixed marriages in Palestine would occasionally take place.  

However they are now a rarity and are discouraged both by right-wing groups and Israeli government legislation that prevents transfer nationality and residency to Palestinian partners.   

As well as discouraging relationships between Jews and Arabs, Palestinians from different parts of the country - Gaza, the West Bank and Israel are often unable to live together.

Due to Israeli restrictions, Palestinians are not able to move freely throughout the country or obtain ID cards for areas outside their immediate place of residency.