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Religion

Rabbis forbid using books
with map of pre-1967 lines

By Akiva Eldar
From Haaretz
December 5, 2006

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 textbooks.

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.

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The Historic Role of
Religion in the Conflict
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Rabbis forbid using books with map of pre-1967 lines

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More on Religious Peace Efforts

Religious Peace Groups

American Muslims for Palestine

A Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)

More Religious Peace Groups

Resources

Book – Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years

Book – Jewish Fundamentalism In Israel

Book – Forcing God’s Hand

Radio – Jewish, Christian, & Muslim Fundamentalists Oppose ‘Road Map to Peace’

Book – Zealots for Zion: Inside Israel’s West Bank Settlement Movement

Human Rights Watch – Second Class: Discrimination Against Palestinian Arab Children in Israel’s Schools

Jews for Justice – The Arab Citizens of Israel

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