The Pacific University Center for Peace and Spirituality brought The Abraham Fund to Oregon this past fall to learn how Israeli Jews and Arabs (Muslim and Christian) could live in peace. The Abraham Fund develops relationship building projects within Israel. After all, it is harder to hate and kill those you learn and attend social occasions with. Breaking down barriers between individuals is a key to peace-making.
So this story caught my eye on the eve of my trip to Israel and Palestine:
JERUSALEM – How have Tel Aviv’s young liberals responded to a decision by Israel’s conservative, right-wing education minister to ban from the official reading list a novel about forbidden love between an Israeli Jew and a Palestinian Muslim?
They've made a video of Israelis and Palestinians kissing each other...
The provocative clip was made in response to an Israeli Education Ministry decision to disqualify Dorit Rabinyan’s book “Borderline” from a list of recommended reading for an advanced high school literature course. Yet to be released in English, "Borderline" is the story of an Israeli Jewish woman and a Palestinian Muslim man who meet in New York, fall in love and then part ways. She returns to Tel Aviv and he to Ramallah.
The Education Ministry said it banned the book from its literature list to maintain the “identity and heritage of students in every sector.” Ministry officials were worried that the “intimate relations between Jews and non-Jews threatens the separate identity,” reported Israeli daily Haaretz, which broke the story a week ago.
Liberal Jewish lawmakers in Israel are among those protesting the book ban, reports The Washington Post.