"Borderlife" author Dorit Rabinyan
"Borderlife" author Dorit RabinyanMoshe Shai/Flash 90

The Education, Culture and Sports Committee of the Knesset met on Wednesday morning to discuss the exclusion of Dorit Rabiniyan’s book entitled “Borderlife” from the curriculum set forth by the Ministry of Education.

The book, which has created quite a media storm in Israel, deals with a romance that develops between a Jewish woman and a Palestinian prisoner.  

The Committee for pedagogy within the Ministry of Education supported the reasoning behind banning the book by saying: “During the developmental years there is already a lack of a perspective that would include considerations of preserving the identity of the (Jewish) nation, as well as the threat of assimilation.”

Chair of the committee Ya'akov Margi (Shas) expressed his support for banning the book. “We in Israel are fighting against assimalation, and the country is investing large amounts of resources on the project. Here we are dealing with a strategic threat that is no less real than other existential threats.”

A member of the pedagogy committee in the Ministry told the Education Committee during the discussion, “critique is a positive thing, so long as it is coming from an honest perspective.” She emphasized that Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) was not involved in the decision to ban the book, and that the decision came due to professional reasons only.

MK Meirav Ben Ari (Kulanu), who is a member of the Education Committee, expressed dissent with the decision adopted by the Ministry. “Jewish girls will not be thronging to Arab villages” she said. Margi responded by saying that “they are already thronging to Arabs even without the book.” Ben Ari retorted, "it is my wish that every author have one of their books banned, so that they will print four times as many books.”  

MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union) handed out copies of the book to other MK’s present. “Each book that we have here is a ticking time bomb," he said sarcastically.

"Minister Bennett is trying to stir up the issue of this book being printed in order to get himself another seat in the next election. Bennett is trying to make a statement that says that he is against assimilation, and anyone who supports assimilation within the Jewish people.”