Rabbis forbid using books
with map of pre-1967 lines
An organization of right-wing rabbis on Tuesday issued a Halakhic
decree forbidding students from using schoolbooks featuring maps of
Israel which include the Green Line, Israel Radio reported.
The decree came in response to Education Minister Yuli Tamir's decision
on Tuesday to add the pre-1967 borders to all new editions of
Tamir defended the decision as the only way to teach students the basis
of the region's politics, but her order came under fire from a number
of right-wing groups.
Chairman of the National Union-National Religious Party Zevulun Orlev
criticized Tamir's decision, saying she was imposing her "Peace Now"
ideology on the ministry.
Tamir said Israel could not demand of its Arab neighbors to mark the
June 4, 1967 borders, while the Israeli education system erased them
from its textbooks and from children's awareness.
MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima), formerly the Director-General of the
Education Ministry, also criticized Tamir, saying that she does not
possess the authority to issue such an order.
"The education minister in not permitted to interfere with the content
of textbooks, and should also have consulted the other members of the
Knesset before making such changes," Tirosh said Tuesday.
Professor Yoram Bar-Gal, head of Geography and Environmental Studies at
Haifa University, said Tamir's directive to bring the Green Line back
to the maps would be hard to follow. He said that most of the textbooks
are issued by private publishers who would not be keen on changing the
plates at their expense.
Two years ago Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, a lecturer in language and
education at Hebrew University, published research on six study books
that had been published after the Oslo agreement. Some of these books
were officially endorsed by the Education Ministry. Many teachers
adopted other books even without the ministry's approval.
Her main findings included the disappearance of the Green Line and Arab
cities in Israel from the maps in these books, and their presentation
of sites and settlements in "Judea and Samaria," rather than in the
"West Bank," as an integral part of Israel.