Video of Israeli Jews and Arabs Kissing Disappears From Facebook

Facebook tells Haaretz it hasn't taken down video of gay and straight couples, reason for removal of post remains unclear.

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Gay and straight Israeli Jews and Arabs kissing after book disqualified by education ministry. Credit: TimeOut Tel Aviv

A video posted by TimeOut Tel Aviv of Jewish and Arab Israelis kissing has disappeared from Facebook, only hours after it went up in what was a response to the Education Ministry's decision to disqualify a book about a Jewish-Arab love affair.

It was unclear why the video of gay and straight couples kissing was removed and Facebook confirmed to Haaretz that it was not behind the video's disappearance. In the meantime, the video has gained over 100,000 views.

In previous cases, posts were removed because of user complaints for allegedly violating Facebook's community standards, but the social media gaint vehemently denied this was the case. It was also possible hackers took the post down.

In wake of public storm caused by the ministry's decision to not include Borderlife by Dorit Rabinyan in the high school literary studies' curriculum, TimeOut decided to produce a video of Israeli Arabs and Jews kissing one another. Most of the participants are not partners in real life and met for the first time before the camera.

However, the video has disappeared from Facebook, prompting TimeOut Tel Aviv to assume that it was the social media giant that took it down.

"The video, which has so far garnered more than 100,000 views and more than 5,500 shares since it went up on social media this morning, alongside international coverage by The Guardian, Washington Post and others, surprisingly disappeared a short while ago from Facebook.

"We don’t know why it's not possible to find the video, and the issue is being checked with the international Facebook [organization]. In the meanwhile, the video exists and is available for viewing on Youtube and on the TimeOut website," it added.

TimeOut explained the logic behind the video, saying that "After the Education Ministry disqualified from the school curriculum the book Borderlife, which depicts a love affair between a Jew and an Arab, TimeOut Tel Aviv magazine decided to launch a campaign against the incitement. We asked young men and women, Arabs and Jews, to meet in front of the camera – and kiss."

In the video, when asked how it felt to kiss a stranger not of their own race and religion, one participant in the video replies at the end of the video, "less strange than the [Arab-Israeli] conflict."

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