Anger as progressive movements insist: ‘We’ll only recognise pre-’67 Israel border’

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Anger as progressive movements insist: ‘We’ll only recognise pre-’67 Israel border’

There was strong criticism this week of an initiative by Jewish students asking British Jews to only use Israeli maps showing the Green Line with one senior leader branding it “as silly as it comes” and a help to boycotters.

The campaign, called ‘Sign on the Green Line,’ was launched on Tuesday by a selection of students. It was supported by Liberal Judaism, Movement for Reform Judaism and Yachad, who bore the brunt of the criticism.

This campaign encourages institutions to only use contemporary maps of Israel that outline the defined borders between Israel & Palestine.

“This is as silly as it gets,” said one community leader. “Whilst I’m not in favour of settlements, there are other ways of doing something about that. But this is going in exactly the direction we didn’t want to go in. It will only give succour and support to those who want to boycott Israel.”

The idea proved immediately divisive, with journalist Jonathan Freedland tweeting: “Good initiative by UK Jewish students, demanding Jewish organisations only use maps of Israel that show 1967 borders.”

But both the Zionist Federation and the Board of Deputies expressed reservations, the ZF’s Paul Charney saying: “It would be naïve in the extreme to think that the disputed territories were not at the heart of the issue.”

He continued: “We welcome debate, but the final borders must be mutually and democratically agreed upon by the Israelis and Palestinians, rather than imposed by an external organisation.”

Several communal organisations, such as BICOM, already use maps showing the Green Line, which marks a temporary boundary between Israel and the Palestinian territories captured during the Six Day War.

World leaders have repeatedly said that any final peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians would take the ’67 border as its basis, with “mutually agreed swaps” allowing for the changed landscape since.

Yet many Israelis, including right-wing cabinet members, do not recognise the legitimacy of the Green Line, something British figures recognised this week.

“It disappoints me,” said Prof. Eric Moonman, a former president of Hillel and the Union of Jewish Students (UJS). “We need to talk to these students, to inject some sanity and understanding into the debate and to discuss how this initiative may affect not only our enemies but also our friends.”

Students behind the campaign were unrepentant, however. Graham Carpenter from LJY-Netzer said: “We are engaging with the big political issues facing us as British, liberal Zionist Jews, and enacting social change. That’s why we pledged to only use maps of Israel with the correct state lines. Working from the same map will enable us to further the conversation about our future vision of Israel.”

Orthodox student Noam Roth said: “For several years I’ve been concerned that Jewish schools and youth movements were misrepresenting Israel to children, by not marking the West Bank on maps. This can have implications on the mental pictures children grow up with and how they see the world.”

On the divisive nature of the campaign, Roth added: “It strikes me as incredibly uncontroversial.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: