Thursday, December 31, 2015

Where does the Israeli ministry of education get its inpiration for book-banning?

From Eval: ""A while ago the Israeli ministry of education banned the inclusion of  the book "living hedge" by Dorit Rabiniaan as an optional part of the highschool literature colloquium. Among the arguments given for the ban were the need to "maintain the identity and heritage of students of all
sectors of the population", the view that "intimate relations between Jews and non-Jews threaten the separate identities", and the concern about "adolescents not having the overall systemic view including considerations of the people's identity preservation and the meaning of 
Assimilation [of Jews in non-Jewish society]". The ban decision was made despite objections by many teachers and Academics, as well as officials in charge of literature studies in secular highschools.

An appeal of the ban by the inspector general in the ministry of education, Dr. Shlomo Hertzig, has now been rejected."

Ok, so this is terrible enough, and good on people like Hertzig for at least trying to appeal the decision, right? Well, here's a quote from Hertzig's appeal: "The acute problem Israeli society faces today is ignorance and racism spreading through it - not the fear of mixed marriage ... the notion that a literary piece might 'trigger' the romantization of such a relation in real life is simply ludicrous... [the Ministry of Education] must not be swayed by baseless false fears."

So, essentially, even this guy is agreeing on the principle, just not on the means of pursuing it or on the 'acuteness' of the problem of intermarriage. Now... where do we remember a government acting to 
prevent marriage between non-Jews and Jews? The answer actually springs immediately to mind if you've studied the history of Germany in the 1930s (which every Israeli highschool student does indeed study):

"The second Nuremberg Law [of 1935], the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor, banned marriage between Jews and non-Jewish Germans. It also criminalized sexual relations between them. These relationships were labeled as “race defilement” (Rassenschande)."

PS - The incumbent Israeli minister of Education is Naftali Bennet, from the Jewish Home party. While this is likely due to his influence, and just to be fair it is not yet clear whether the Likkud-led party will let this stand. I'd say the odds are, say, 60% that they will."