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This Video Of Arabs And Jews Kissing Was Removed From Facebook

It was put together as a protest against the Israeli government rejecting students being taught using a book with a Jewish and Arab love story.

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Let's start at the beginning. This is Naftali Bennet, Israel's Minister of Education. He's the leader of a party devoted to expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank and a key member of the current government's coalition.

Last week, the Education Ministry disqualified Dorit Rabinyan's novel called "Gader Haya," known in English as "Borderlife," from being added to the country's high school curriculum.

Gil Cohen Magen / AFP / Getty Images

In a statement, the ministry told NBC News that the book was not approved because it was "full of layers of hidden narratives, with criticism of the liberal-left part of the Israeli political spectrum, [and] wrapped in a romantic story of an impossible love."

The love in question? Between Liat, an Israeli academic, and Hilmi, a Palestinian artist, who meet and fall in love in New York City.

"The professional team came to the conclusion" that adolescents "may have difficulty to go in depth into these layers," the ministry's statement continued.

The ministry later said that advanced classes could use the book, but it would stay off regular literature classes' lesson plans.

Worse, Rabinyan's book was specifically rejected because it engaged in “intimate relations” that “threatens the separate identity” of Jews and non-Jews, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

In response to the ban, which some have called racist and several teachers have indicated that they'd ignore, TimeOut Tel Aviv produced a video of six pairs of Arabs and Jews — some gay, some straight, some couples, some strangers, some friends — kissing.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

“When the story came out last Thursday we were already working on another big project," TimeOut Tel Aviv deputy editor Nof Nathanson told the Washington Post. "But during our editorial meeting this week we decided that we needed to take action against this decision. We immediately started working on the video."

While provocative to some in Israel, it's not exactly new ground. The video itself is directly inspired by that viral "First Kiss" video from 2014. And in the same year, Arab-Jewish couples took to the Internet to show their disdain for the Gaza War.

But if you want to watch the video from TimeOut's Facebook page, you're out of luck — it's been removed and TimeOut is perplexed as to why. Facebook has already confirmed to Haaretz that it was not behind the video's disappearance, deepening the mystery.

Facebook didn't immediately return a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.

Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Hayes Brown at hayes.brown@buzzfeed.com.

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