Where do you draw the line?

Dear Friends,


Early next week, Israel will mark its 69th Independence Day. I remember when I was young, there was a map of Israel hanging in my classroom in Eilat, and in honor of Independence Day we would draw little Israeli flags around it. I wonder what that map would have looked like. How were its borders marked? Which map hangs today in Israeli classrooms?

Sovereign states are characterized by clear, established, and sovereign borders. Borders have a tremendous impact on people, as they determine the legal regime and status applicable to them, and affect their rights and duties.

In a sovereign state like Israel, it should be fairly simple to find an official map of the country, right? Not really. We looked for a map on the official websites of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry, but were unable to find one. The government map website features a map that spans from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea; this contradicts Israel’s official stance, according to which the West Bank is not under its sovereignty.

So where are our borders? The answer to this question is relevant to every Israeli citizen. It also has dramatic implications for Palestinians living in the occupied territories. Yesterday, we sent a letter to Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requesting an official map, which clearly delineates the State of Israel’s sovereign borders. I hope that our request is met with the seriousness it deserves. Borders, sovereignty, and human rights are serious issues.

During the course of 69 years we have amassed impressive achievements. I hope we will soon establish clear and agreed upon sovereign borders, which will enable all people living within and around them to live in full dignity and freedom.


Adv. Sharon Abraham-Weiss
Executive Director
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel

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Categories: Democracy and Civil Liberties, The Occupied Territories

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