Noted Israeli authors have joined leftist politicians in outrage over the Education Ministry's decision to to disqualify a novel depicting a romance between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man from being taught in Israeli high schools.
Dorit Rabinyan's "Gader Haya" (known in English as "Borderlife") was rejected out of fear the book would promote assimilation.
"I am so outraged!" prominent author A.B Yehoshua told Walla! News on Thursday. "This is an excellent book that should be a best-seller and read by many people. It describes thing with sensitivity and truthfulness and this rejection seems absurd to me and unacceptable."
Novelist Haim Be'er also slammed the move, alluding to it as a political ploy by Education Minister Naftali Bennett to regain the trust of Jewish Home voters following his comments about the Duma suspects.
"A few days ago, when Naftali Bennett praised the Shin Bet, and spoke out against the hilltop youth and 'price-tag' attacks, it was clear his stock among his constituents was falling and he needed to fix it. He and his PR people searched for some sort of interest that would restore his lost honor. This was an opportunity that came his way."
"I must say from my knowledge of the Am Oved [publishing house] he did the book a huge favor," Be'er asserted. "Tomorrow, God willing, Am Oved's book merchants will take the out the books that haven't been sold and it will become a bestseller."
"This is a book that was already beyond its selling peak and suddenly Bennett returned the color to its cheeks," he continued. "Too bad he didn't prohibit its dissemination, so it could be sold secretly."
"I'm jealous Dorit Rabinyan won what I didn't win; let them disqualify me," Be'er added sarcastically. "I intend to write the next book to be disqualified by Naftali Bennett, in order to promote its sale. If I were Bentzi Gopshtein from Lehava, I would give Naftali Bennett a prize."
In a more straightforward reaction, poet Natan Zach simply blasted the Education Minister as "a moron. What can you do against morons? Morons are the majority. We are the minority."