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New Film Explores Israeli, Arab Views on Sex With the ‘Other’

Inspired by a book about Golda Meir's alleged affair with an Arab banker, Yolande Zauberman and Selim Nassib asked Tel Aviv Jews a daring question: Would you have sex with an Arab? The couple reversed the question for Israeli Arabs. Sophie Claudet talks with the filmmakers about politics, mixed-race kids and the prospect of peace.
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PARIS — It all started when Yolande Zauberman and her partner in life and work, Selim Nassib, began to work on a screenplay of Nassib’s novel, The Palestinian Lover, which tells the story of an alleged, passionate affair between Golda Meir and a rich Arab banker in then British-administered Palestine. As the unfathomable thought of this affair whirled around, Zauberman decided to go to Israel and ask Jews the most daring question of all: Would you have sex with an Arab? The couple reversed the question for Israeli Arabs. They avoided posing the question to the most extreme in either camp, though. In fact, Zauberman says she deliberately chose to test Israel’s liberal scene to see how progressive it really is. The camera takes viewers through Tel Aviv’s night scene — a bubble within Israel’s largest city, which is in and of itself referred to as “the bubble”— as the couple catches people off-guard with their explosive question. Al-Monitor sat down with Zauberman and Nassib in Paris. The film, which opened in France, will be shown in several European countries and in the United States later this year. Watch the trailer here. Read the full interview.

Al-Monitor:  Why did you do this film?

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