Photo: Yaron Brener
Drawing the Line. Tamir
Photo: Yaron Brener

Education Minister to return Green Line to textbooks

Yuli Tamir proposes students learn about Israel's disputed borders. 'You can't sketch Israel's borders without bringing in politics' says Tamir

Education Minister Yuli Tamir decided that Israeli students should learn about the country's 1967 borders. Tamir ordered the Green Line be included on all maps in all future textbook publications.


The Green Line outlines Israel's borders from the 4th of June, 1967, just before the Six day War broke out.


This decision is politically loaded since the 1967 borders are at the base of the Palestinian and Arab demands for establishing an independent Palestinian state.


In the meantime, Israel has been trying its best to obscure these lines over the years, in hopes that it would be able to include its settlements in the area in any future agreement with the Palestinians.


Tamir has been checking with the ministry how the new maps with the Green Line can be included into the new textbooks approved by the Education Ministry.


"There have been many complaints that the Israeli map which appears in textbooks does not have any borders," said Tamir to Ynet Tuesday morning, "I've looked into the matter and indeed, there is no reference to the Green Line. For example Gaza is still included as part of Israel."


'Attempt to determine political facts'

Tamir is not worried about the expected criticism: "Taking the Green Line out of the maps is also brining politics into schools. You can't draw Israel's borders without brining in politics. There are some things like Gaza that just need it. You can't help it that reality changes."


The expense of the new books is also not a concern since the change will only be made in new books to be published, existing books will remain unchanged.


Elhanan Glat, CEO of Bnei Akiva Yeshiva Center is very disappointed with this decision. "Unfortunately the Education Minister is forgetting that she is not the Education Minister of her party, but of all of the State of Israel. Such a statement is un-educational. It's an attempt to determine 'political' facts within the education system, and is generating mistrust in the Education officials – it's a shame. We will oppose this decision."


The Yesha Council said in response that "if the education minister believes that the Jewish presence in Israel began in 1948, she should go learn some history."


The council stated that "the tie between Israel and its land has existed for thousands of years, but instead the minister decides to ignore it." 


Former Education Minister Yossi Sarid supported Tamir's decision, saying, "the students in Israel should know that Israel's eastern and northern borders are not final, and they will be settled one day through negotiations."


"Everything that is true in reality should appear in the textbooks, and this is our reality," he added. "After 1967 the border was broken and it's important that the students know this. This is the true border story in the east – it’s not over and done with."


פרסום ראשון: 12.05.06, 09:24
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