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Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Tamir directive to put Green Line in schoolbooks criticized

Last update - 12:31 05/12/2006

Tamir directive to put Green Line in schoolbooks criticized

By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent

Chairman of the National Union-National Religious Party Zevulun Orlev
criticized Education Minister Yuli Tamir on Tuesday saying she was imposing
her "Peace Now" ideology on the ministry.

Orlev was referring to the instructions Tamir issued to reinstate the Green
Line in all the new editions of textbooks featuring maps of Israel.

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

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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