Needless own goal
Israel has enough real problems without having to deal with entirely self-inflicted and unnecessary own goals. The decision by the education ministry to ban from the curriculum a novel about a love affair between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man is crass and stupid. the winner of Israel’s prestigious Bernstein literary prize, brings honour rather than shame to the country. But Naftali Bennett’s decision to overrule an advisory panel of Israeli academics who recommended that it should be placed on the school curriculum does the opposite. In words that will repel anyone with a sense of history — not to say decency — Mr Bennett said that ‘‘intimate relations between Jews and nonJews are a threat to our separate identity’’. Unsurprisingly, the Israel-haters have leapt on this as supposedly proving that Israel is an apartheid state. It does no such thing, of course. It simply proves that Naftali Bennett has acted like a bigot. But his actions now mean Israel has created and lost yet another PR battle.