Monday, June 02, 2014

Countering the 'shrinking Palestine Maps' scam

One of the most pernicious and common scams propagated by anti-Israeli activists is the so-called 'shrinking maps' of Palestine (see bottom of this article). As with most anti-Israel propaganda (like "Israelis are baby-killers" whereas in fact Israel does everything to avoid any civilian casualties while Palestinians specifically target young children; and "Israel is an apartheid state" whereas Israel is the only country in the Middle East to provide full rights for all religious groups while the Palestinian Authority allows no Jews at all)  the claims are a  perfect inversion of reality.

In 2010 I decided that the best way to counter these maps was to show the following alternative (I could not find anything like this on the web so I developed it myself - there have been copies since). The map demonstrates  the extent to which it is Israel that has been shrinking since 1973, in its desperate but increasingly futile hope to trade 'land for peace':


Now compare that factual reality with the propaganda maps that lie (see also Elder of Ziyon on this):


  •  First of all note that the first map distinguishes "Jewish settlements" and "Palestinian Land" whereas all the others simply compare "Israeli Land" and "Palestinian Land". Since there was no 'State of Palestine'  in 1947 there was no "Palestinian Land". Instead they should have highlighted (for consistency) "Arab settlements" which would actually have been much fewer and smaller than the "Jewish settlements". And of course most of the land would be neither "Jewish settlements" nor "Arab settlements" because it was still barren (although much of it was actually legally owned by Jews who had bought it). If you used the logic of this propaganda map and applied to to the USA today you could show that there are just tiny pockets of "American colonialist settlements" sprinkled amid the vast land which could be said to be "Native American" (UPDATE: see exactly such a map here and at bottom of page)
  • These maps are based on the completely false premise that, prior to 1947 there was an Arab state of Palestine. In fact the Palestine that was promised to the Jews as part of the Balfour declaration was the British mandate territory that includes what later become the state of Jordan (my map above top left). There was not - and never has been - an Arab state of Palestine even though, between 1948 and 1967 there was no 'occupied territories' of the West Bank or Gaza since these areas were then under the full control of Jordan and Egypt respectively. The Palestinian Arabs living there during that period never called for an independent state of their own.
  • Only the Jews of Palestine considered themselves Palestinian before 1948. The Arabs - most of whom had come to Palestine from Egypt and Syria because of the economic opportunities opened up by the Jews - considered themselves to be Syrian.
  • Despite the fact that 80% of mandate Palestine (not shown on the maps that lie) had already been granted to the Arabs exclusively to become the new state of Jordan, the Jews of Palestine accepted the UN partition plan of 1947. The surrounding Arab states did not accept it and launched a war of annihilation against the Jews (during and after which some 1 million Jews from Arab countries were forced to leave - most of them came to Israel).
  • The result of the war that was intended to murder every single Jew in Palestine was that the invading Arab armies were defeated and the Jews controlled slightly more territory overall than was part of the 1947 plan; however, they also lost some territory such as the Jewish quarter of East Jerusalem (including Judaism's holiest sites such as the Wailing Wall) and Gush Etzion that even the 1947 plan had not considered to be under Arab control.
  • The UN accepted the 1949 armistice line as defining the borders of Israel, while calling for East Jerusalem (now under Jordanian occupation) to be 'internationalised'.
  • The Arab states refused to recognise the State of Israel and have continued to this day to try to destroy it. The Jordanians who occupied East Jerusalem in 1948 expelled every Jew and destroyed every synagogue in the old city. Not a single Jew was allowed to enter Judaism's holiest sites until 1967 when, after the Egyptians, Jordanians and Syrians launched another attempted war of annihilation, Israel regained control over the old city and other areas.
  • Israel offered to withdraw from all the newly gained territories in return for peace but the offer was rejected by the Arab countries. With the exception of Jewish East Jerusalem Israel has essentially made the same offer over and again ever since but it has always been rejected. Despite this, Israel has returned the whole of Gaza and most of the West Bank to Palestinian control. But the Arabs continue to demand the destruction of all of Israel.
It is also important to show Israel in context with its Muslim neighbours:


Update 9 August 2014: Applying the Palestinian maps scam to the USA:


See also:

26 comments:

Daphne Anson said...

An excellent contribution to the small body of internet refutations of that pernicious and sadly ubiquitous four-map set, Edgar.

Edgar Davidson said...

Daphne

Thanks for the very generous words.

Edgar

Dan said...

The key to understanding the "maps that lie" is the phrase, "Palestinian land". The regions so labeled in the maps are not "Palestinian" in any political sense--they include land that was ruled by the British, the Jordanians and the Egyptians. Nor are they demographically "Palestinian", since they exclude, for example, regions of Israel that are majority-Arab. In fact, it is clear upon a bit of reflection that the term "Palestinian" in the phrase, "Palestinian land", used in these maps has only one meaning: "Jew-free". The maps label as "Palestinian" exactly those lands that are devoid of any kind of political or demographic Jewish presence. (That's why they omit the period 1967-2005: by the "Jew-free" definition, none of the land between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean would qualify as "Palestinian".)

Now, some people might indeed be shocked at the gradual reduction of Jew-free territory in the region over the decades. But decent people would be more disturbed by people complaining about the insidious spread of Jews than by the spread itself. It is highly significant, moreover, that to anti-Israel activists, the term, "Palestinian" means nothing more than "free of Jews". I therefore encourage everyone to draw attention to these maps, to the true meaning of the term, "Palestinian", as used in them, and to the implications of this meaning. I can imagine no clearer demonstration of the true motivations of anti-Israel campaigners who invoke the idea of "Palestinian land".

Edgar Davidson said...

Dan

Indeed this is a very important point. The other thing I probably need to stress is the use of the term "Jewish settlements" in the first map. It would be very easy to draw a map of America as it is today with similalry sparse areas marked as "American settlements" and everything else marked as "native American Indian land"

Alana Ronald said...

The points you illustrate are important. I wonder why you didn't show 1948 and 1967 maps of "expansionist Israel"? I also think some will just see the word "expansionist" without looking carefully, not understanding the irony.

Anonymous said...

Agreed.

am

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Graham said...

Hi everyone, I'm wondering exactly what is the point of the world map showing Israel in contrast to Islamic states. As a Canadian I have very limited knowledge of the history of the region through the collapse of the Ottoman Empire until today and am trying to better understand the ongoing conflict. I would appreciate real discussion and not a dismissal of my legitimate questions by being called anti-semitic as seems to be thrown around against anyone who doesn't tow the Israeli line. There is far too much "If you're not with us you're against us" in this world. I'm honestly trying to understand the situation.

While Dan says there was no official state of Palestine, I think this is beside the point. Was it, following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, not occupied by a large majority of Arabs who had lived there for many hundreds of years or more? What was the right of the UN/League of Nations and Britain to claim administrative control over the area, and to divvy it up as they saw fit? How was it justified to take a large swath of land and give it to the Jews? This takes me back to my question about that map. It seems to make the argument that it's justified to steal $1000 from a millionaire, which obviously isn't the case by any moral standards.

Dan talks about how the area wasn't Palestinian, but ruled by Jordanians and Egyptians and the British. As far as I can understand, this is an inaccurate red herring. Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, there were no boundaries. It was all one entity that then had to figure out how to reorganize itself, at which point all the territory was claimed and divvied up by European colonial nations with arbitrary borders. Just because some foreign country claimed authority over the area doesn't render the true claim of local occupants any less legitimate.

And stemming from this, I can certainly understand the animosity from having their land given away by false authority to create a Jewish state. It's no different than learning your step-dad is taking away your toys and bedroom to give to your step-brother.

I guess I just don't see legitimacy of Israel's claim to the land, since it had been under more or less continuous Islamic control since the 6th century. During the Ottoman Empire Jews experienced tolerance where they were often persecuted elsewhere, but it still wasn't their land. Ultimately it's just unfortunate that such tolerance that characterized early Muslim empires seems to have disappeared. European intervention and knack for drawing arbitrary lines in the sand seems to have that effect. Can't we all just live in peace??

Anyways, thoughts are welcome. Discussion is much more useful than being divisive, and I would like to increase my understanding and correct it where it is wrong (although I appreciate their are more than one side to any story).

Thanks,
Graham

PS. Here are some other informative maps I found: http://www.vox.com/a/maps-explain-the-middle-east

Anonymous said...

Graham, there's no point trying to have a reason based conversation with Edgar Davidson or his supporters on here. The propaganda and lies in his post should make it clear he is not interested in rational examination.

Bright New Century said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bright New Century said...

Your map is also misleading because parts of the West Bank are still under Israeli control and Gaza has its borders controlled by Israel. They can still be considered occupied.

The most important point Id like to make is that some facts you mention are not relevant in the debate on where the current borders should be.

It doesnt matter if there was no national identity for the Palestinians before 1948, there is now. They have been living there for a long time and they deserve to determine their own political future.

It also does not matter how much land the rest of the "Arab world" has, its about the Palestinians, not about the other Arab countries. What do you suggest, they just move to any random other Arab country?

If the Palestinian Authority is an apartheid state, would that mean that Israel cannot become one, or that Isreal has the right to become one?

If Arab countries wanted to destroy Israel, does that mean that Israel is now entitled to violate international law?

In short, Arabs doing bad things doesnt make the stuff that Israel does any better.

Anonymous said...

1. Nationhood and Jerusalem : Israel became a nation in 1312 BC, two thousand (2000) years before the rise of Islam.

2... Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.


3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BC, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand (1000) years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.


4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 lasted no more than 22 years.


5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem , they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.


6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Koran.


7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem . Mohammed never came to Jerusalem .


8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem . Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem ..


9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: in 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. 68% left (many in fear of retaliation by their own brethren, the Arabs), without ever seeing an Israeli soldier. The ones who stayed were afforded the same peace, civility, and citizenship rights as everyone else.


10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.


11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.


12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own people's lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel , a country no larger than the state of New Jersey ...


13. The Arab-Israeli Conflict: the Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.



14. The PLO's Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with most of their needs.


15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.


16. The UN Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.


17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel .


18. The UN was silent while 58 Jerusalem synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.


19. The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives .[They used tombstones to pave roads].


20. The UN was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like a policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Today, the Temple Mount, under the control of Jews, is open to everyone.

Adam said...

1. A state called 'Palestine', and several provinces of the name also, have existed in the form of Roman and Ottoman states. The Mandate too could also be

considered a state of Palestine because, from Wikipedia, the formal objective of the League of Mandates system was to assume partial control of a country

until such time as it is able to stand alone. The name 'Palestine' goes back to the ancient Egyptians.

2. The Balfour declaration promised the Jews a home IN Palestine. Furthermore, the Balfour declaration was a letter, not a formal treaty. You have

misleadingly, and wrongly, tried to include Jordan, which was never part of the British Mandate, as part of 'Palestine'. Jordan, like most Arab states

created by the British, is an artificial state but largely Jordan is irrelevant to Palestine and was autonomous since 1916.

3. Stein gives the estimate of 2,000,000 dunams (2,000 km2) as of May 1948, or 7.51% of the total.[106] According to Fischbach, By 1948, Jews and Jewish

companies owned 20% percent of all cultivable land in the country.[107]

4. The Palestinians had every right to decline the 1947 partition and RIGHTLY SO. Before the Mandate, Jews comprised only around 10% of the population of

Palestine. After uncontrolled mass immigration from Europe, to which the Arabs had no say in the matter, the Jewish population rose to over 40%. Do the Kurds

have a higher claim to land if they just keep breeding more? No, they don't. The Ashkenazim immigrants whom made the bulk of the Jewish population of

Palestine had no ancestral connection to the land nor was the partition plan fair.

Oh, yes, that's right... Jews did once live with Arabs! I wonder what caused that to end? Leftists will tell you 'anti-semitism'.

5. Palestinians have been in the land since the dawn of time and no matter how hard you try and flatter yourself by saying they emigrated to use Jewish

services, you cannot change facts or reality.

6. Palestinians were vying for independence as early as 1916 and 1936 when they revolted against the British. In fact, the British actually promised 'Arab

independence' to the Palestinians whom helped revolt against the Ottomans. Seeing as the Palestine region [called Damascus eyalet] was a province

encompassing almost the same borders as the Mandate, it was to the Arab presumption that the British would make Palestine a sovereign state. Of course, this

was a vague promise and a broken one too.

7. The 1948 war was not a 'war of annihilation'. How do I know? Because the Arabs sent only 50,000 troops. Half the number that the Israelis had. Nice try at

making yourself the poor, persecuted victim.

8. Also on a similar note, the refugees, all 600,000+ of them, did not leave because of Arab orders. The Arabs sent less than half the number of troops as

Israeli. They left because it was a flipping war. And there were a few massacres such as Deir Yassin.

9. Israel has launched several aggressive wars on it's Arab neighbours, such as the inglorious 1967 war, the humiliating 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the

Suez Crisis. The myth of Israel being an unconquered, plucky little nation just defending itself from the evil, racist, oppressive Arabs is just that - a

leftist myth.
The 1967 was started by Israel and no matter how hard you cry and wail and try to make yourself out as the innocent angels, facts remain facts.

10. Numerous Palestinian organizations DO recognize Israel.

And the argument of Israel having 1 country while Arabs have many is prepostrous. Should Europeans shove off to give immigrants their own country? NO!

Your logically inconsistent and factually, historically inaccurate diatribe has been refuted to I hope the best of my ability.

Anonymous said...

1. A state called 'Palestine', and several provinces of the name also, have existed in the form of Roman and Ottoman states. The Mandate too could also be considered a state of Palestine because, from Wikipedia, the formal objective of the League of Mandates system was to assume partial control of a country until such time as it is able to stand alone. The name 'Palestine' goes back to the ancient Egyptians.

2. The Balfour declaration promised the Jews a home IN Palestine. Furthermore, the Balfour declaration was a letter, not a formal treaty. You have misleadingly, and wrongly, tried to include Jordan, which was never part of the British Mandate, as part of 'Palestine'. Jordan, like most Arab states created by the British, is an artificial state but largely Jordan is irrelevant to Palestine and was autonomous since 1916.

3. Stein gives the estimate of 2,000,000 dunams (2,000 km2) as of May 1948, or 7.51% of the total.[106] According to Fischbach, By 1948, Jews and Jewish companies owned 20% percent of all cultivable land in the country.[107]

4. The Palestinians had every right to decline the 1947 partition and RIGHTLY SO. Before the Mandate, Jews comprised only around 10% of the population of Palestine. After uncontrolled mass immigration from Europe, to which the Arabs had no say in the matter, the Jewish population rose to over 40%. Do the Kurds have a higher claim to land if they just keep breeding more? No, they don't. The Ashkenazim immigrants whom made the bulk of the Jewish population of Palestine had no ancestral connection to the land nor was the partition plan fair.

Oh, yes, that's right... Jews did once live with Arabs! I wonder what caused that to end? Leftists will tell you 'anti-semitism'.

5. Palestinians have been in the land since the dawn of time and no matter how hard you try and flatter yourself by saying they emigrated to use Jewish services, you cannot change facts or reality.

6. Palestinians were vying for independence as early as 1916 and 1936 when they revolted against the British. In fact, the British actually promised 'Arab independence' to the Palestinians whom helped revolt against the Ottomans. Seeing as the Palestine region [called Damascus eyalet] was a province encompassing almost the same borders as the Mandate, it was to the Arab presumption that the British would make Palestine a sovereign state. Of course, this was a vague promise and a broken one too.

7. The 1948 war was not a 'war of annihilation'. How do I know? Because the Arabs sent only 50,000 troops. Half the number that the Israelis had. Nice try at making yourself the poor, persecuted victim.

8. Also on a similar note, the refugees, all 600,000+ of them, did not leave because of Arab orders. The Arabs sent less than half the number of troops as Israeli. They left because it was a flipping war. And there were a few massacres such as Deir Yassin.

9. Israel has launched several aggressive wars on it's Arab neighbours, such as the inglorious 1967 war, the humiliating 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the Suez Crisis. The myth of Israel being an unconquered, plucky little nation just defending itself from the evil, racist, oppressive Arabs is just that - a leftist myth.
The 1967 was started by Israel and no matter how hard you cry and wail and try to make yourself out as the innocent angels, facts remain facts.

10. Numerous Palestinian organizations DO recognize Israel.

And the argument of Israel having 1 country while Arabs have many is prepostrous. Should Europeans shove off to give immigrants their own country? NO!

Your logically inconsistent and factually, historically inaccurate diatribe has been refuted to I hope the best of my ability.

Anonymous said...

The best of your ability is woefully inadequate. Under the Ottoman Empire's 500 year rule of the Levant there was no territory known as "Palestine". Nor under that of their predecessors the Mamelukes, Seljuks, etc. The Ottomans had the "vilayets" - administrative divisions" of Beirut and Damascus each of which extended southwards into what is now Israel. In the late C19th the Ottomans under pressure from Western European Christians created an ad hoc administrative district called the "Mutasafrrik of Jerusalem" from the southernmost tips of these two vilayets.

Contrary to your assertion, what is now Jordan was hived off from Mandatory Palestine in 1922 by the British.

Anonymous said...

In your map, you describe quite a few Christian countries as being Muslim (e.g. Liberia - 85% Christian, Nigeria is split 50/50, Ethiopia - 63% Christian, some other ones as well).

Filmi Houre said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Filmi Houre said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
McGrath of H said...

" It would be very easy to draw a map of America as it is today with similalry sparse areas marked as "American settlements" and everything else marked as "native American Indian land"

The maps of America you show are accurate enough, apart from the fact that they ignore the existance in 1776 of Spanish and French settlements. The mass of the territory was in fact "native American Indian land".

Guillermo Del Solar said...

It is your comment that is misleading actually. Israel controls their borders with Gaza . like any other country controls its borders. What do you expect? that Hamas controls the Israeli border?
The "West Bank" is under control of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas , not Israel. There are settlements yes, but in a very small part.
It does matter that there is no identity, because their mantra is to "free palestine", implying that there is a nation being occupied. it does matter as well, because between 1948 and 1967 , there were no complaints to free Palestine form Jordan, which clearly point out , the problem is exclusively with the Jews.
It also matters how much land do the Arab countries have , because you can not take out of the equation the rest of the Arab nations. First, because "palestinians" come from those nations and second, because they are being used as a pawn to destroy Israel. And yes, Palestinians could have been taking in by the Arabs, just like the Jews were expelled and taking in by Israel.
Israel is not violating international law. In fact, international law allows Israel to military occupy Judea and Samaria, until peace has achieved and borders have been recognized, which is not the case yet.
You are willing to ignore the enormous and numerous violations of the Arab side and focusing only in Israel, as all good anti-semites do.
Thank you

Peter said...

Islamic tolerance that disappeared due to European intervention?
ROFLMAO.

Mr. Cohen said...

Israel is being buried-alive under an
avalanche of media bias and false accusations.

These web sites can help refute those
biases and false accusations:


************************************************
HELP DEFEND ISRAEL FROM UNFAIR MEDIA:
************************************************

www.camera.org

www.DanielPipes.org

www.FactsAndLogic.org

www.HonestReporting.com

www.memri.org

www.memriTV.org

www.MideastReporter.com

www.MythsAndFacts.org

www.TheIsraelProject.org

www.BBCwatch.org

www.jhrw.com

www.PalWatch.org

************************************************
HELP SUE THE TERRORISTS:
************************************************

www.IsraelLawCenter.org

************************************************
HELP FIGHT ISRAEL-BASHING ON-CAMPUS:
************************************************

www.CameraOnCampus.org

www.DavidProject.org

www.Israel-Academia-Monitor.com

www.JewHatredOnCampus.org

www.SSImovement.org

www.TheIsraelGroup.org

https://twitter.com/cmaccabees

************************************************
HELP-ISRAEL ORGANIZATIONS TO JOIN:
************************************************

www.afsi.org

www.IronDomeAlliance.com

www.IsraelBonds.com

www.KeepJerusalem.org

www.rza.org

www.zoa.org

http://5tjt.com/how-aipac-failed-us/

************************************************
JEWISH VICTIMS OF ISLAMIC TERRORISTS:
************************************************

www.Terror-Victims.org.il

www.VictimsOfArabTerror.co [not com]

Pedroinspain said...

I agree with all of the posts above which demonstrate that the original post failed abject to prove that the "Palestinian maps" are a scam. Using a logical fallacy such as the USA strawman, does not constitute the touted 'scam exposure'. Compounding this by using another logical fallacy by -cherry picking- the 1973 date simply compounds the failure.

The 'Palestinian maps' are a totally fair reflection of the past 50+ years of history. The original post failed.

DanV said...

I find it sad that Israel (born of genocide) feel somehow justified in the eradication of Palestinians - including but not limited to - bulldozing houses, shops, etc. Using military force to roust people out of their neighborhoods, etc. They are becoming to a degree the thing that made them. This is not anti-semitic bias, it is merely fact. The Arabs in Palestine throw rocks and an occasional bomb (if you got chased out of YOUR home and told not to come back, what would YOU do?) ANd Israel responds with 1st world weaponry. Not exactly a fair fight....

Anonymous said...

Another map to counter the map of the 4 lies:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CmeTR-1WgAAVaBJ.jpg

If you tell someone that they have been robbed, even if it is of something they never had, in this case sovereignty, then they will learn anger, despair, resentment and hate. That is false perspective that DanV, Pedroinspain and others wish to promote.

Anonymous said...

This is an absolute lie. Infant if you see muslims have invaded the land of hindus since long time. Hindukhush which was once hindu territory, muslims killed all the hindus from there and forcefully converted hindu. SO what are they crying about? Muslims reproduce so quickly and once they get higher in number they start putting their own laws and force conversion. Hindus don't convert others. They live and let others live. Look at the history of mughals in India, bought woman oppression and other killing. I understand western counties politicians have agenda.But, bombing people in the name of islam is not justified. Any religion that doesn't let others live or give freedom to choose is bad.The map shows white parts in India.Which is false.Muslim world problem is they since beginning of time have believed in oppression and forced conversion.Look at the place they rule, strange laws, killing,brutality. Fight among themselves shia and sunni. I don't hate muslims because I know good muslims. But the extremism in many of them and inability of them to raise voice against their people but justifying and radicalisation is really sad.