The Knesset Education Committee rejected Monday Education Minister Yuli Tamir's decision to commission new geography textbooks containing maps that delineate the Green Line in a vote of eight to two. Tamir announced her decision to include the Green Line more than a month ago, arguing that it was important to teach the history of the Green Line, which marks the 1967 borders of Israel, in order to familiarize children with prevailing political concepts. "The demarcation is important because of widespread usageâ€¦both internally within in Israel and internationally," Tamir told the committee Monday.
Head to head #1: The Green Line
Responding to criticism from right-wing MKs, the labor minister added, "The Green Line has a judicial status, even if you don't like it. Unless you wish to tell me that the status of the Golan Heights and Nablus is equal."
The Education Committee voted against Tamir, recommending that the minister adopt a proposal by MKs Zevulun Orlev (NU-NRP) and Zeev Elkin (Kadima) to follow a government decision from 1967 that decrees that the country's borders not be marked according to cease-fire lines.
"The textbooks in the education system include satisfactory material, which properly instructs on the history of the country and state's borders, including the cease-fire lines," read the committee decision.
"There is no need to alter the material at this juncture." The vote, however, was non-binding, and Tamir announced that she would not rescind her decision.
"I want to believe that the education minister will not fail the citizenship test - every minister pledges to be loyal to the State of Israel and abide by the Knesset's decisions," said Orlev. "If the education minister fails to follow the Education Committee's decision, she should be dismissed."