Blurred Lines: Palestinians to Ask UN to Swap Green Line for Red One

PA wants 'Red Line’ to become the border’s new name; says the boundary should be visible from space.

Josh Chester
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Josh Chester

The Palestinian Authority will ask the United Nations to change the color of the demarcation line that represents Israel’s pre-1967 borders, replacing the Green Line with a red one.

The Green Line, the product of the 1949 Armistice Agreements, became known as such simply because of the ink color used on the map. The Palestinians, however, say this arbitrary choice is sending out the wrong message.

“What does green say to you?” said a Palestinian official who requested anonymity for fear of ridicule. “Green means go, right? But what about the color red? Red says stop. For all these years those settlers have been pouring over the Green Line. Now we want the UN to deliver a clear message to Israelis: Stop when you see red.”

This message would also come in handy for Ramallah’s drivers, he added.

“Can you imagine how different things might have been if some faceless bureaucrat had picked up a red pen instead of that stupid green one?” the official asked. “A blue one, even – though the Israelis probably would have claimed that as a water source.”

The official believes the Red Line could become a new symbol of Palestinian resistance. “One idea we’ve discussed is painting a giant red line around the West Bank,” he said.

“It would be a line so wide, so vibrant, you’d see it from space. Just imagine. Let’s say you’re watching the movie ‘Gravity’ and suddenly the Middle East comes into view and you see this red outline. What a fantastic message! I’ll bet you can’t see Scarlett Johansson’s contours from space!”

The Palestinians have reportedly approached rock legend Roger Waters to record a song called “Red Lines (Don’t Cross Them)” – a new version of the 1980s hit “White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)” – although some officials have expressed doubts about the 70-year-old’s ability to handle the number’s rap elements.

The United Nations declined to comment, although a source told Haaretz that red tape would be the Red Line’s biggest problem at the world body.

Purim festivities begin in Israel on Saturday, and continue on Sunday.

Construction in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa. Credit: Emil Salman

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