The Tel Aviv Municipality has started hanging maps of Israel in schools with the Green Line marked, despite an Education Ministry prohibition on the matter, after a decision was made by mayor Ron Huldai. Haaretz first reported on the decision to hang the maps on Sunday.
According to the Education Ministry, the only maps that are allowed to be used in educational institutions are those that are prepared by the Survey of Israel (SOI) and receive its approval. The ministry criticized the municipality's decision to distribute the unapproved maps to schools.
"This is an amateur and non-professional map, invented by the Tel Aviv Municipality. This is reflected in the cartography and the trending use of the term 'sovereignty line,'" the ministry stated, clarifying that "the map was not submitted for approval by the Education Ministry, and therefore it is not approved for study nor for use as a poster on the walls."
Settlers express outrage at Tel Aviv's new maps of Israel
The heads of the settlements were also outraged. "Students from the schools in Efrat will visit Tel Aviv during the coming school year, even though the mayor of Tel Aviv doesn't like us that much, it turns out, or sees us as not legitimate residents of Israel," said council head Oded Ravivi.
The head of the Beit El Council, Shai Alon, said that "the conduct of the Tel Aviv Municipality, where there are probably not many people who like the settlements in Judea and Samaria, is part of a broad symptom in which the political instability and the lack of political horizons vis-à-vis the Palestinians lead to the independent conduct of various parties that manage the conflict as seen by the eyes and lead to the prevailing chaos as far as Judea and Samaria is concerned."
Tel Aviv Municipality: It's important students know the complex reality in certain areas
"The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality is a leader in education and puts education at the top of its list of priorities. An excellent education includes knowledge of the world, skills and values. All three are embodied in the professional map that was painstakingly made by an expert cartographer, for the city's students.
"It is important that they know the borders between us and other countries and the borders of Israeli sovereignty and the complex reality in certain areas."Tel Aviv Municipality
"For us at the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, it is important that the students know not only the city and the area they live in but the entire country - that they know where each locality is, how many people live there and what the composition of the population is. It is important that they know the borders between us and other countries and the borders of Israeli sovereignty and the complex reality in certain areas. It is important that they get to know the Middle East and know how small Israel is compared to the countries around it. This is knowledge that is necessary for everyone.
"We are sure that the principals of our schools and educational teams, who know their students best of all, will know how to lead and adapt the discourse for them, even when it is complex; They will know how to show the Israeli situation as it is in reality - sometimes controversial, sometimes subject to change and sometimes changing according to political-government policy. All these are part of the history, the present and the common future of all of us.
"We note that the process of working on the map was a serious and in-depth process, during which we approached the Education Ministry and SOI with a request to provide a map and data, but none were provided.
"The production of the map took two years, during in-depth work that investigates each and every part and brings the reality as it is, without mediation and without censorship, and allows children a real and reliable perception of the area. Today the maps will be hung in all classrooms in the schools in the city."