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

Multimedia In US, Decision Expected Soon in Racially Charged Case

Missouri town, many Americans on edge over whether jurors will indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

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.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid