News / Middle East

    For Many Israelis, 1967 Borders Moot Point

    A general view of the Israeli settlement of Ramot, November 10, 2010
    A general view of the Israeli settlement of Ramot, November 10, 2010

    Multimedia

    Audio

    U.S. President Barak Obama triggered shock and anger among many Israelis last week when he called for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be resolved along the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps.  Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Jerusalem's Jewish neighborhoods have spread far beyond that armistice line, also known as the Green Line.


    Ramot is a suburban-like neighborhood of neatly arranged tract homes on a hilltop overlooking Jerusalem.  It sits on land next to what was a battleground between Israeli and Jordanian forces in the Six Day war of 1967, when Israel captured it.

    Hilary Herzberger, a Jewish immigrant from South Africa, was among Ramot's early residents. "We wanted to live in a community in Jerusalem and this was the community that was allocated to us to build 116 units. Political issues were never really taken into consideration,"  she said.

    Ramot's residents came here looking for a comfortable, quiet suburban life.  They have found it. A new shopping mall is being built next to an expressway that connects the neighborhood to downtown Jerusalem, only a few minutes away.

     Map of Israeli pre-1967 borders

    Shattering the quiet and comfort is the political reality that Ramot is on land beyond the 1967 lines.  Like other sections of land adjacent to Jerusalem that Israel captured, the Jewish State annexed Ramot in a move that has never been internationally recognized.  

    The Israeli government has for decades carried out a policy of building Jewish neighborhoods on a ring around Jerusalem with the aim of securing the city against future attacks.

    Palestinian leaders claim the territory where Ramot is, as well as other neighborhoods and East Jerusalem, as part of their future state.

    In the shadow of Ramot, Israeli authorities have fenced off the neighboring West Bank Arab town of Beit Iksa and its 27,000 people.

    Omar Gayth, deputy head of the town council, says Israel bars Beit Iksa's residents from accessing their farmlands on the other side of the fence.  For him, the measures are a stranglehold that should be dealt with first and foremost.  

    The solution he seeks is not a return to the 1967 borders. He says that what the people of Beit Iksa need is the right to come and go to their land, wherever it is.  

    The issue of the 1967 lines has long been part of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and discussion of it is a sensitive matter for many Israelis. 

    Hilary Herzberger rules out any return to the armistice lines.  Talk of land swaps also makes her nervous.

    "If we're talking about Ramot, it's a neighborhood of 45,000 people and we have many neighborhoods similar. There's no possibility. Those neighborhoods today are very much part of Jerusalem and I think it's not even a question and so it was a terrible shock to hear '67 borders," she said.

    Many Israelis have praised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not giving in to what they perceive as U.S. pressure to relinquish territory.

    For Israelis like Herzberger, there is no going back.

    Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora