Friday, July 10, 2015

Maps of Israel

From The Forward via Haaretz:
At a teen dialogue program for Palestinians, Israelis and Americans in Evanston, Illinois, some years ago, a small, commonplace, clip-out map of Israel undermined a concerted grassroots peace-building effort.
The map portrayed a barebones Israel, with borders stretching laterally from the Mediterranean to Jordan. Distributed to the kids within a larger information packet, it looked like an ordinary map to the Israeli and American Jews, an outline similar to ones they had seen in school, camp and synagogue.

But to the Palestinians the map was shocking and upsetting. Where was the Green Line? The Israeli-occupied West Bank? Gaza? Their homes? Where was the demarcation that marked off the country ruled by Israel’s citizens as a democracy from the Palestinian territories it rules through military occupation?

For the Palestinian teens, half of the equation of a potential two-state solution was missing. ...

Andrea London’s son, Yonah London, was a participant in the 2010 dialogue program in Evanston. He initially paid no mind to the clip-out map because it was the same Israel he had been shown in Jewish day school and summer camp since he was a small child. But seeing how offended, even tearful, some of the Palestinian kids were at the sight of the map was, for him, eye-opening.

“I can no longer see a map of Israel without the Green Line as something that is ‘apolitical,’” he said. (The Forward and Yardain Amron, Why do Jewish camps in the U.S. erase the Green Line from maps of Israel?, July 1, 2015.)

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