YOUNG VOICES

Students Campaign For 'Proper Education' On Israel Borders By Using Green Line Maps

06/03/2014 11:57 GMT | Updated 06/03/2014 11:59 GMT

A group of British students have started a grassroots campaign calling for better recognition of the borders of Israel amongst Jewish communities.

The 'Sign on the Green Line' group, started by 16 students from around the UK, aim to get British Jewish organisations to only use maps of Israel that have the border as agreed by the 1949 armistice - the 'green line' - clearly marked.

Some maps of Israel appear to include areas such as the West Bank and the Gaza strip which were not included in the 1949 agreements.

A statement on the Sign on the Green Line website reads: "Maps affect our perspective, and so accurate maps are vital to a well-informed view of the conflict. By not putting a Green Line on a map of Israel, we neglect our duty to educate with integrity.

"The campaign is not about defining where a future border may be drawn, but simply asking organisations to use maps that clearly show the Green Line, representing a move towards more honest education about Israel within Anglo-Jewry.

Joe Grabiner, a student at LSE, is one of the 'Green Line' campaigners. He told HuffPost Live: "We felt like there were lots of Jewish organisations in Britain, a lot of the big youth movements, synagogues and others, that actually weren't living up to a level of educational honesty or sophistication that we think we need in the community."

Some groups have criticised the group's approach to the debate.

The Jewish National Fund told the Jewish Chronicle that it was “a sad reflection on those who seek to influence the communal agenda that the brightest and best of our youth should have their talents and energies diverted from more important domestic issues”.

Joe said: "I think the reason why we're coming up against some opposition from these organisations is that we're a group young people who are essentially challenging the status quo. We're trying to say we really think there's some worth and some value in making a change, and I think there are some community leaders that find it challenging that we're saying that."

Emily Hilton, a campaigner and student at UCL, said: "I think the backlash is mostly focussed around the idea that we are trying to put forward a political agenda in terms of us saying that 'these should be the final borders of the state', which is not what we're saying.

"Age doesn't necessarily mean that you know better. We think it's really important that our voices are being heard."