British Jewish establishment resists the Green Line
By Marcus Dysch, Jewish Chronicle
February 20, 2014
A new grassroots campaign that asks communal organisations to use only maps of Israel which feature the Green Line has caused a split.
The Sign on the Green Line initiative was launched this week by 16 young people from a range of religious movements and youth groups.
It aims to secure promises from Jewish groups to use only maps depicting Israel’s pre-1967 borders.
So far, Liberal Judaism and the Movement for Reform Judaism have signed up along with grassroots advocacy group Yachad and the New Israel Fund.
The United Synagogue would not comment and Masorti said it would not sign up.
JNF said it was “a sad reflection on those who seek to influence the communal agenda that the brightest and best of our youth should have their talents and energies diverted from more important domestic issues”.
Sign on the Green Line’s launch statement says: “Maps affect our perspective, and so accurate maps are vital to a well-informed view of the conflict. By not putting a Green Line on a map of Israel, we neglect our duty to educate with integrity.”
BBYO, Habonim Dror, LJY-Netzer, RSY-Netzer and Noam youth movements have all supported the idea and campaigners hope shuls, schools and individuals will follow.
Israel’s official map; no green line
Student Jessica Weiss, 20, is one of the founders. She said: “I went to Israel and the West Bank last year and worked on a kibbutz. I saw they used the maps without the Green Line and asked why.
“My experience of being a youth worker at Finchley Reform Synagogue made me think we need more responsible Israel education.”
But Zionist Federation chairman Paul Charney played down the influence of Sign on the Green Line which, he said, “holds little sway in the community”.
“In the same way that the final borders must be mutually and democratically agreed upon, rather than imposed, any ZF policy on cartography would need to be voted for and approved by the ZF council.”
Michael Sinclair, JNF UK vice-chairman, said the charity was not political and did not believe British Jewish groups had “any right to interfere with Israel’s domestic politics”.
A Board of Deputies spokesman said the organisation would be “delighted to support borders agreed by the parties that lead to a lasting resolution to the tragic, ongoing conflict” but said nothing about its own policy on maps. UJIA refused to comment.
The JNF came under fire in the US last month for using a map of Israel which did not feature the Green Line on its famous blue box charity collection tins.
Notes and links
The links below no longer work. We assume the campaign has been wound up.
‘Sign on the Green Line’ is a campaign created and run by members of the next generation of Anglo Jewry. We are a group of 16 young people from across the Jewish Community, with a host of different backgrounds, beliefs and practices. Together we are striving to make a difference through social action, education and campaigning.
The aim of our campaign is to get British Jewish organisations to only use maps of Israel that have the Green Line on them. Maps affect our perspective, and so accurate maps are vital to a well-informed view of the conflict. By not putting a Green Line on a map of Israel, we neglect our duty to educate with integrity. The campaign is not about defining where a future border may be drawn, but simply asking organisations to use maps that clearly show the Green Line, representing a move towards more honest education about Israel within Anglo-Jewry.
All we are asking British Jewish organisations to do is to make a promise to use maps of Israel that have the Green Line on them.
To sign up your organisation click here.
To Sign on the Green Line click here