Yesha Council rejects books
Photo: Ata Awisat
Photo: Gil Yochanan
Orlev: 'Peace Now' policy
Photo: Gil Yochanan
Photo: Ori Porat
Sarid: This is reality
Photo: Ori Porat

Settlers reject Tamir's textbooks

Storm follows education minister's decision to add Green Line to Israel's map in student textbooks. Settlement heads announce they will reject textbooks; 'We will continue to educate about the whole Land of Israel,' they say

Education Minister Yuli Tamir's initiative to return the Green Line to maps of Israel in students' textbooks is causing a storm.


On Tuesday right wingers accused Tamir of losing her sense of nationalism, and said her proposal is more suited for the "Peace Now" movement than the Israeli education system. Settlements call for the new textbooks to be rejected.


The Yesha Council called on all schools in the "Zionist education system" not to put these new books into their plan. "The education minister is trying to use educational propaganda to cut out about a fifth of the State of Israel from the map, which is where the tie between Israel and its land was based as a cradle in Jewish history," the council said.  


Former Yesha Council chairman and one of the settlers' leaders Israel Harel said: "Ministers in general, and the education minister especially, do not determine Israel's borders…. I suggest the borders should be de facto… and mention these are not final borders. Tomorrow we'll have an education minister from Meretz who will take out the Galilee and the Triangle, where will it end?"


The "Magenei Eretz" organization is drawing up an alternative plan that will be distributed to all the education facilities in the country. "The goal is to make a connection between the settlements in the West Bank and communities within the Green Line in order to save the settlement. The plan aims to explain, through educational material including CDs why the Land of Israel belongs to the Israeli people."


'End Peace Now policy'  

The textbook publishers were also surprised with this decision.


Amos Bahad, CEO of Reches Educational Projects LTD, the company that produces and publishes textbooks for schools, said that the process could take up to a year and half: "Drawing the Green Line is not a small issue; it means we have to replace all the textbooks, this will cost a lot of money."


In the political system it was hard to find any supporters of Tamir proposal.


The harshest response came from National Religious Party Chairman MK Zevulun Orlev who demanded that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "put and end to the "Peace Now" policy in the Education Ministry that is clearly dictated by the education minister."


According to Orlev: "The "Peace Now" agenda is also seen in the minister's decision to cancel the Jewish education funding to Russia, and in her support to mark the Nakbeh day in public schools."


A sarcastic response came from World Likud Chairman Danny Danon who ‘praised’ Tamir's decision to mark the Green Line on textbook maps.


"Thanks to Tamir's decision the students will know how dangerous returning the Green Line borders would be to the existence of the State of Israel, and how it would turn us all into hostages in the hands of Palestinian terrorists." said Danon.


One of Tamir's few supporters was Former Education Minister Yossi Sarid. "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," he said.


Sarid continued to say that "Everything that is true in reality should appear in the textbooks, and this is our reality. 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."


MK Zeev Elkin (Kadima), a member of the Education Committee's response was that "the education minister is better off taking care of a reform in the education system instead of wasting her time implanting her personal ideology on the student's textbooks."


Moran Zelikovich, Yael Branovsky and Ilan Marciano contributed to this story 


פרסום ראשון: 12.05.06, 12:49
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