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

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid