Visualizing anti-Zionism: Site used by Guardian data blog calls Haifa “Palestinian”

Yesterday, we posted about an extraordinarily misleading Guardian data blog entry on the Palestinian economy – a piece by Mona Chalabi titled ‘How does Palestine’s economy work?‘, Oct. 14 – which assigned blame for Palestinian economic woes almost entirely on Israel, and never once so much as mentioned the injurious economic impact of Palestinian terrorism.


Many of the claims made by Chalabi were quite specious, including her reference to a report which purported to quantify the number of olive trees “uprooted by Israeli authorities since 1967”.   To illustrate the number of olive trees allegedly destroyed by “Israeli Authorities” – which Palestinians have evidently methodically been counting over the past 46 years – she referred readers to a site called ‘Visualizing Palestine‘.

Visualizing Palestine describes itself as a site dedicated to using “creative visuals to describe a factual rights-based narrative of Palestine/Israel.” It is funded by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, the Jerusalem Fund, and the Shuttleworth Foundation.


As you can see from their recent Tweet, editors at Visualizing Palestine were quite proud that their statistics were used by the Guardian:

Sites other than the Guardian – such as the anti-Zionist hates sites Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada – have also featured their work:

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The graphic purporting to illustrate the impact of so many uprooted trees cites, as its source, not Oxfam (as Chalabi claims) but a report by the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy and a radical NGO called Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ). Moreover, a review of Visualizing Palestine indicates that it serves as a clearinghouse of anti-Zionist propaganda , replete with misleading quotes from Israeli leaders, false claims about Israeli and Palestinian water use, and graphics imputing comic book villainy to Israelis, such as this graphic created from stats at the site US Campaign to End the Occupation:


And, then there is this graphic from their site, illustrating the false story earlier in the year about Israel’s alleged “racially segregated” bus service.


There’s also this illustration – showing Israeli soldiers aiming their weapons at a Palestinian child – on a page at their site devoted to the propaganda film about the Bil’in protests called ‘Five Broken Cameras’.


Finally, if you contribute a mere $110 to Visualizing Palestine, you get this cool pendant:


Here’s the list of pendants (of 16 cities in “Palestine”) you can choose from:


Eight* of the “Palestinian cities” are actually Israeli, and have been so since 1948. (Bi’r as-Sab is Arabic for Beer Sheva)

The use of ‘Visualizing Palestine’ as a serious source by Chalabi serves as additional evidence that the claim made in the Guardian Data Blog logo, that “facts are sacred“, is, to put it politely, simply absurd.  

(*As Judge Dan, a blogger at Israellycool, pointed out, we originally neglected to note that Beisan is Bet She’an, an Israeli city in the north.)

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