The Israeli education minister, Yuli Tamir, sparked a fire of controversy Tuesday when she ruled that Israeli textbooks should show the 1967 borders between Israel and the Palestinian territories. At a time when Israel is demanding that Hamas respect the 1967 borders, she said, it is time for Israel to recognize those borders in its educational system.
Her decision led to a wave of criticism, with a group of Orthodox
Rabbis calling for schools to disobey the rule, and some calling for
Tamir's removal from her position.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was also angered by the Education Minister's
decision, saying, "..There is an obligation to emphasize that the
government's position and public consensus rule out returning to the
The Israeli state has never defined its own borders since its creation
in 1948, and this ambiguity has led to territorial expansion onto
neighboring Palestinian land, expansion which increased significantly
in the period since 1967, during which the Israeli military has
occupied the Palestinian territories and nearly 500,000 Israeli
civilians have moved into settlements on Palestinian land.
A recognition of the 1967 borders, which would provide Palestinians
with 27% of their original land, while giving Israel 73%, has been on
the table since the 1993 Oslo Agreement as a partition plan that would
be acceptable to the Palestinians. Even with the Islamic movement
Hamas now in power in the Palestinian Authority, the Hamas leadership
in May indicated an acceptance of the 1967 border partition plan.
Although the Israeli leadership accepted the partition plan in 1993, in
the 14 years since, more than 300,000 Israelis have been transferred to
illegal Israeli settlements across the 1967 border, under the full
protection of the Israeli military.
Prime Minister Olmert's statement last night on the Education Ministry
rule indicated that in fact, Israel has no intention of adhering to
previously signed agreements made with the Palestinians, and will annex
illegally-seized Palestinian land to make it part of the state of
Israeli Education Minister: “Text books should show the 1967 border”
By Saed Bannoura
In a move that stirred up political storms in Israel on Tuesday,
Israeli Education Minister Yuli Tamir said that maps in all new
textbooks should show the borders of 1967. Her statements garnered
widespread criticism in Israel, the Israeli Jerusalem Post reported.
In an interview with the Israeli Radio, Tamir said that children in Israel should be given popper understanding of the history and accurate historical information, including the borders that were set after the 1967 war in which Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the East of Jerusalem.
She also said that the the Israeli children should also know the Green Line than separates the borders of Israel from the occupied West Bank, and stated that “deleting this line from text books is considered a political move”.
Former Israeli Education Ministry director-general, Ronit Tirsoh, from the Kadima Party, said that the decision of Tamir is a political move, and that she used her authority as an education minister, in passing this decision.
Tirosh called on Tamir to revoke the decision, and said she should have consulted other Knesset members before making such a decision.
Talking to the Israeli Radio, Tirosh said that “Tamir wanted to publish borders that have not been set yet”.