Video showing Jews and Arabs kissing in protest against Israeli book ban disappears from Facebook

TimeOut Tel Aviv created the video after the Israeli ministry of education banned a novel about a relationship between a Jewish woman and Arab man

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The Independent Online

A video showing Jewish and Arab people kissing as part of an Israeli campaign against hatred and discrimination has disappeared from Facebook.

Jews and Arabs Kiss was made by TimeOut Tel Aviv in response to the education ministry’s banning of a novel depicting an Israeli woman and Palestinian man falling in love.

Borderlife, by Dorit Rabinyan, was excluded from the government’s literature curriculum because of fears parents would view it as a “threat to distinct identity”, sparking widespread outrage.

“We will continue to believe that people are first human beings, before the religion or nationality that was either chosen by them or their ancestors,” TimeOut Tel Aviv wrote in response.

“Love is sometimes viewed as superficial, but this is a mistake, there is no feeling more complex and complicating. In a complex society, it is important for us to complicate in the best way that we know how.”    

The magazine brought together six couples – male and female, gay and straight, including some who had never met before – to kiss on camera.

The video shows them locking lips one by one before ending with the message “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies”, written in English, Hebrew and Arabic.

It quickly amassed more than 100,000 views after being put online on Wednesday but disappeared from Facebook on Thursday.

TimeOut suspected the social media site of taking it down, which it does as a stock response to complaints, but Facebook denied removing it.

A spokesperson “vehemently denied” any involvement to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, which raised the possibility that hackers may have targeted the video.

It had re-appeared several hours later without explanation, with TimeOut encouraging people to share it to show “love wins”. 

Facebook has not responded to The Independent’s request for a comment.

The video came as a wave of violence continues in Israel and the West Bank, which has seen a wave of shooting and stabbing attacks on Israelis and security crackdowns and raids on Palestinian areas.

Since September, 21 Israelis and a US citizen have been killed by Palestinians, while at least 137 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces in the same period, including around 90 who were carrying out an attack or believed to be attempting one.