The couple find that their similarities and differences are very complicated. Liat, a high-minded, educated woman of the left, sees the only solution as two states, fair but in the end separate. Hilmi thinks there is no dividing the two people on the same land. (This argument, of course, has only intensified.)One problem with the article itself, if not the novel, is that - you guessed it - there's no mention of Islam here, and whether that's the elephant in the room being ignored. Another, mentioned above, is that the female protagonist of the book is a leftist who upholds the two-state solution propaganda that's absolutely ruined discourse even more than LGBT indoctrination. And just look how they imply a leftist is the "educated" one. I'm betting they'll say the only good type of religious Judaist is one of an extremist Haredi clan like Satmar. Disgusting. That the Hilmi character ostensibly doesn't think there should be division is no alleviation if leftism is ultimately the viewpoint driving the tale. However, the article does have something amazing to tell about what happened after the education ministry eased up on its initial position:
The ministry backed off slightly, allowing some teachers to use the novel in classrooms. What Ms. Rabinyan found disturbed her: It was the students, amid the nation’s palpable drift to the right, who did not want to read the book, which had generally been popular.If Rabinyan really did say "in Palestine", that certainly confirms what kind of person she is, who clearly despises the Judean/Samarian part of her own country, and may see nothing wrong with the Religion of Peace. Simultaneously, you could wonder if she believes "palestinians" shouldn't be shunning her book's vision, if they are.
“Nowadays kids in Israel and in Palestine are so swept up with this wave of nationalism, exploitative of their instincts,” she said. “The kids themselves rejected the book. They said: ‘It’s a lefty book. I don’t want to read it.’”
I also took a look at this UK Guardian article about Hassan Hourani, the paramour whom the Hilmi character is based on, and it says:
The depressing weather broke me on June 10. It was still raining. I booked myself a plane ticket and told you that in another five days I was going back to Israel. You asked enviously: "You're going home?" I trembled, as usual, when we spoke that word. I do not know which of us started it, when it happened that we stopped saying "Israel" or "Palestine". We simply said home, but we meant the same place. Through your messianic gaze, it was always one place. In my eyes, from a distance of thousands of kilometers, it was the conflict ripping these two places apart that made them, paradoxically, one. From that distance, Abu Mazen seemed to be a brave new leader and Ariel Sharon was quoted as saying, "An end to the occupation." The renewal of talks towards negotiations joined rumours of a rare spring that was sweeping the region after a blessed winter and I, filled with hope and with a physical need for the warmth of the sun, wanted to go home.So more of the Israel-invalidating propaganda of a palestinian state, I see. And if memory serves, "Abu Mazen" is a nickname for Mahmoud Abbas, the same one who was involved in funding the terrorist attack in Munich. If Rabinyan's got an accepting view of such a monster, that's the real issue with her politics, not intermarriage.
I guess the elephant in the room is whether stories like these take positions viewing Islam as legitimate, including at Israel's expense. On the other hand, I will say that, if Bennett really didn't read the novel from front to back, that was incredibly dumb, and undermines positions I doubt he still has. That said, this review in the Forward reveals a most eyebrow raising detail about the characterization in the book:
“All The Rivers” is an impassioned record of what Liati, the narrator, calls “these mad and beautiful days,” her intense love affair with a talented stranger whom she, a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, has been conditioned to regard as hostile, or at least treyf. Hilmi has, in fact, spent four months in an Israeli prison for painting anti-Zionist graffiti on a wall in Hebron. The effort to keep their taboo relationship secret from friends and family puts a strain on the couple, as does the fact that Hilmi favors a single binational state and Liati a two-state solution. However, eros overcomes wariness, at least for their November-to-May romance. The realization that on May 20 Liati will return alone to her Jewish life in Tel Aviv concentrates their liaison. “How can you love with a deadline,” a friend asks, “with a stopwatch running?”Anti-Zionist grafitti?!? Well that's saying something. Basically, the novel must take a position on the word Zionist without even knowing its exact meaning, making it out to sound like it means evil conquestor, not patriotism/nationalism. Also note how this is an affair between a Jewish woman and an Arab man, not a Jewish man and Arab woman, which basically means Rabinyan is playing things pathetically safe. Something tells me you wouldn't see people like this writing a story about a lesbian affair between Jew/Arab either. If anything, Rabinyan is cheap and pathetic in the symbolism this ends up embodying. Of course, Bennett also showed weakness by failing to make clear the specific problem with the book is that it may normalize relations between a Muslim man and a non-Muslim woman.
And actress Gal Gadot's production company, most sadly enough, decided to cash in on this propaganda by adapting it. If the production does go ahead, it'll remain to be seen just how far to the left it'd lean in its vision, one that excuses Islam - which should be the real reason for concern - in its quest to push a propaganda vision. This kind of news is what soured me on Gadot as a country representative, realizing she's apparently a leftist, her army service notwithstanding. I'm sure there's some irony in that, but there you have it when it comes to those who're now in Hollywood.