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Students Say It's Dangerous To Ignore The Green Line
Sun, 03/09/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week
Jacob Plitman
Jacob Plitman

Students here and across the Jewish world are fighting for an honest conversation about the Green Line, the armistice line that serves as the basis for any talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. If we bury our heads in the sand, we become all the more vulnerable to Israel’s real enemies.

In the United Kingdom, a group of Jewish student leaders is asking their communal institutions to mark on their maps the oft-omitted Green Line, which divides Israel proper from the territories administered either by it or by the Palestinian Authority. The campaign is called Sign on the Green Line, and has received press coverage in Haaretz and UK outlets.

Some critics of the campaign claim putting the line of the map would simply be too political. Not so, says Amos Schonfield, one of the campaign’s organizers: “In reality, not using a map with the Green Line is a much bigger political statement.” Leaving the Green Line out means standing against a negotiated two-state solution.

Unfortunately, some of our community’s most common symbols, like the JNF tzedakah box, also omit the Green Line. In response to this, some diaspora students are working to reintroduce the Green Line into our conversation where it matters most: Israel.

Last summer, on what the Palestinians marks as Naksa (“Setback”) Day when the West Bank was first occupied, a group of American diaspora students in Israel painted the Green Line through areas of Jerusalem.

The vast majority of Jewish Jerusalemites never step foot in Palestinian East Jerusalem. The same is true for Palestinian Jerusalemites, who rarely leave for the Western half of the city. Marking the abstract line in reality reminded passerby of the contested nature of where they stood.

As Schonfield says, choosing to ignore the Green Line is a political stance, and a dangerous one. On campus, our ignorance emboldens and strengthens parties that can undermine our commitment to the two-state solution. When we refuse to take ownership of the conversation on ending the occupation, supporters of Israel Apartheid Week and others can take control of the conversation and shift it away from tenable solutions.

The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is highly antagonistic to Israel and thus unlikely to lead to cooperation at the negotiating table. But trying to shout those efforts down or shut our eyes to uncomfortable facts like the Green Line is not the right strategy.

To win, we must acknowledge people’s frustrations with the situation in Israel and Palestine, on both sides, and build power around the two-state solution.

My generation wants a diverse and representative conversation on Israel that reflects our commitment to Israel and commitment to ending the occupation. The latest Pew research shows that we are optimistic about the prospects of peace; we don’t like Israeli settlements in the West Bank and we don’t think that being critical of Israel conflicts with our Judaism.

The facts of the conflict compel us to action. That’s why over 900 students attended J Street’s national conference in September, and why thousands of us are taking action on pro-Israel, pro-peace initiatives like the 2 Campaign.

With the possibility of an imminent American proposal on the negotiations, our informed support grows more important by the day. In the American diaspora, we have a unique responsibility to support our Israeli family and friends in this process. Failure to do so endangers the prospects for peace.

During Oslo, Prime Minister Rabin himself criticized elements of the American Jewish community for failing to support his government’s decision to pursue peace. This time around, we must step up. Facing the facts of the conflict is a critical first step in that process.

Jacob Plitman is the President of the J Street U National Student Board, and a senior at UNC Chapel Hill studying Peace, War and Defense. He tweets at @jacobplitman.

Green Line, J Street, J Street U, Jacob Plitman, Sign On the Green Line

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Outsiders should not play politics for Israel nor for the Arabs. Only Israel and Arabs should compromise and fix their new border on the place. Israelis don't tell Britain what should their policy in occupied Malvinas and Gibraltar be, and I expect that British want intervene in Israeli politics, even if they are Jewish!

UN Resolution 242 says that Israel would withdraw under peace agreement from "occupied territories" and NOT from "THE occupied territories", by deliberate intention that Israel has righteous and natural claims to Judea and Samaria and has the right to change her eastern borders against against permanent Islamic threat from the East.

The situation today id much complex because a new people was born there since 1967, called "the Palestinian people". As a matter of fact this name is a cover up for more than 16 militant terror Islamic groups that want to annihilate Israel in any border it might keep. That is the reason that the most "moderate Palestinian", Abu Abbas (Abu Mazen) denies Israel quest to acknowledge Israel as the state of the Jewish people, the Israel recognizes the PA as the state of the "Palestinian people". If he recognizes Israel right to exist as such he should give up his demand for the "right of return" of 5 Million Arabs to small Israel. The "right of return" is the main political tool to annihilate Israel and turn the majority of her population to Islam. If it accepted it means that Israel is dead. I know that some "Israel lovers" want it to happen, but what you can do, the Israelis showed us many times that they know to fight for their rights and security. For that reason I think that as long as the Arab Palestinians will not change their attitude towards Israel, and will keep playing as pivot power of Islam to re-conquer all of Israel and turn her back to "Dahr el-Islam" (territory ruled by Islam) there won't be really a peace. So, get off Israel back and find some Arab Palestinian back to climb on !!!!

Fatah central committee member Abbas Zaki was quoted recently as having said, more than once (in Arabic of course), that any peace ageement pushing Israel back to pre-'67 borders, the so-called "Green Line", is only the "first stage" in bringing about Israel's demise - their ultimate goal. I had always believed a peace agreement is in Israel's best interests because a two-state solution would maintain its status as a Jewish State, but I no longer hold that view. Israel can never withdraw to the so-called Green Line, because it lacks a trustworthy peace partner.