The municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo reportedly distributed a map of Israel to schools in the city, which separates the Jewish state from the territories seized in 1967, in defiance of a Ministry of Education decree banning maps with a green line.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai promised that postcards would remain on the walls of classrooms in his city.
According to an article published on Wednesday Haaretzthe map was prepared by the municipality, which intends to place them in the city’s approximately 2,000 classrooms.
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The map shows the 1969 ceasefire line of dark red dots that separates Israel from the West Bank, while the lighter line marks the Golan Heights and Jerusalem, areas captured by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967 and which the country later annexed.
The legend corresponding to the red dotted line is “Sovereignty Boundary”.
The inset showing the main population centers in the region also includes the dividing line with the West Bank. Another inset shows Tel Aviv specifically, with optical zoom at street level.
Although Israel never annexed the West Bank, which was captured from Jordan in the Six-Day War in 1967, the country sought to integrate the territory in other ways, extending its laws and its standards to areas not under Palestinian control. Authority. Official government maps do not show the Green Line, although there is a network checkpoints military and security barriers effectively separating Israel and the West Bank on the ground.
“It is important to us that students learn the limits of Israeli sovereignty and the complex reality of areas where Israeli Jewish citizens live alongside Palestinian Authority-controlled Arabs,” Mayor Khuldai wrote in a letter to schools. according to Haaretz.
The map, he added, can be used for “historical, geographical, linguistic conversations – and even topical issues, alliances, agreements, conflicts, political issues that underlie public discourse.”
Shai Alon, head of the local council in the settlement of Beit El, criticized the map, telling the Walla news site that the Tel Aviv municipality’s decision “is the result of political instability and the ‘lack of political horizon’ given by the Palestinians.
“Different parties … manage the conflict as they see fit, and this leads to reigning chaos as far as the Palestinian Authority is concerned,” he added.
For its part, the Department of Education has refused to use the map, saying in a statement released Monday that it was not approved for educational purposes or even “as a poster to hang on the wall.”
She called the map “amateurish” and accused the municipality of “biased use” of the term “sovereign border”.
The ministry stressed that the Israel Surveying and Mapping Department (SOI) is the only authority responsible for the production of official maps.
The cards installed in the classrooms are usually provided by the local authorities and are usually owned by the SOI department. Those made by private companies also do not have a green line.
The challenged initiative was launched two years ago by Deputy Mayor Chen Ariely and the municipality’s director of education, Shirley Rimon.
“Instead of censoring reality, the map allows for dialogue,” Ariely said. Haaretz. “We cannot force schools to use the map, but it is our duty to allow debate on this topic. »
In 2007, Labor Education Minister Julius Tamar ordered school boards to show the Green League, drawing criticism from the right. However, the initiative did not materialize until Gideon Saar, a nationalist opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state, took over two years later.