Tamir Defends Green Line Map Decision

The Knesset Education and Culture Committee called on Education Minister Yuli Tamir to withdraw her decision to order that relevant maps in school textbooks show the Green Line. In response, Tamir said that she is steadfast in her decision, and the committee's decision is not binding.

During committee deliberations yesterday, Tamir said that "the Israeli pupil must know the significance of the Green Line. This term has legal significance, and it is raised in various contexts. If the pupils are to be able to formulate an opinion, they must first recognize the term. Ideology is not identical to reality, and a pupil that does not understand that the status of Ariel is different from that of Tel Aviv does not understand reality."

Tamir showed examples of maps where the Green Line sometimes appears in red - denoting a district boundary - at times as a cease-fire line, and in some cases not shown at all.

The line should be marked on historical maps, or those that delineate political borders, Tamir said, not necessarily on maps of physical geography.

"In maps that are used to teach about the borders of the country, the Green Line will be marked irrespective of the wishes of politicians," Tamir said. MK Michael Malchior (Labor), who chairs the committee, said that the marking of the Green Line "is not connected with the question of where the final border will be. There is no need to bury our heads in the sand, as if avoiding to mark the Green Line would mean that it does not exist."

Kadima MKs and those from right-wing parties attacked Tamir's decision.

MK Zevulun Orlev, head of the National Religious Party, said that "the government decision since 1967 has established the Green Line as dead. The education minister is trying to restore it on the daily agenda and engrave it on the consciousness of pupils, an expression of the political views of Peace Now."