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Distorted Reality in Tel Aviv - Don't Hide the Green Line From Students.

© Sharaf Maksumov |

This week, the Ministry of Education disallowed hanging maps that show the Green Line in Tel Aviv classrooms. These maps were made and distributed to city schools by the Tel Aviv Municipality. In response, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel stated:

The Ministry of Education seems to think that if they bury the heads of Israeli students in the sand, reality will disappear. But as we know, the green line is a historical and legal fact, not a political position. The basic and most important educational principle is recognizing reality and formulating a position towards it on a solid factual basis. In its demand to remove the maps, the Ministry of Education is encouraging ignorance rather than critical thinking. We call on the Ministry of Education, the Municipality of Tel Aviv and all schools to continue to provide an open education space where everyone has the freedom to ask questions that show the multiplicity of positions and the depth of complexity. Otherwise, the ongoing situation ought to be called indoctrination rather than education.

The Human Rights Education Forum, which is founded by ACRI, appealed to the Minister of Education, Yifat Shasha-Biton, and the director general of the ministry, Dalit Stauber, in protest of the ban. Among other things, the teachers of the forum wrote:

The green line is not a 'political position' or a "narrative," but an existing fact that has historical, geographical, and legal meanings that shape the reality of our lives. The absence of the green line from the maps that the Ministry of Education approves for teaching and distribution points to a certain political position and creates a biased agenda.

The view that the presentation of facts is a political bias is extreme and worrying. This is an attempt to blur and hide different opinions and facts instead of educating for critical thinking and forming an opinion based on knowledge of the different positions, facts, and extensive and reliable knowledge. This is an expression of an agenda that contradicts the principles underlying the democratic regime and state education, including freedom of expression, the principle of freedom in general, and freedom of thought in particular.

We call on the Ministry of Education and those in charge: do not take part in the narrowing of educational spaces, indoctrination, and silencing.

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