There never was, at any time in history, a sovereign Palestinian state, within any borders. This is not an Israeli talking point, but an indisputable fact. That of course hasn’t stopped Palestinian leaders, pro-Palestinian activists and, at times, even mainstream media outlets, from trotting out an often used propaganda map suggesting otherwise.
An article in the Daily Mail (Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas cuts all ties with Israel and the US over Donald Trump’s latest peace plan, Feb. 1st) includes a photo and caption which serves to legitimize this map:
Mahmoud Abbas’s map is a lie, as it suggests that the entire land, from the river to the sea (depicted on the first map), is, or was at some point, theirs, and that any proposal which involves a Jewish state within this territory, is, by definition, a Palestinian territorial compromise. It further falsely implies that the current US peace plan (represented by the fourth map) would grant them territory equal to 15% of “their” land. Palestinians who use this map are attempting to convince people that Jews have been gobbling up more and more “Palestinian land” by creating a false history in which Israel had supplanted a pre-existing Palestinian state.
However, the first map simply shows British Mandatory Palestine (minus Transjordan): that is, land controlled by the British from 1920-48, which previously was controlled by the Ottoman Turkish Empire. In fact, none of pre-1948 “Palestine” was ever under the political authority or Palestinians/Arabs.
The second map represents the 1947 UN Partition Plan, suggesting the borders of independent Arab (Palestinian) and Jewish states. Arab/Palestinian leadership rejected the plan, whilst the Jewish leadership accepted it. When Israel declared independence in May, 1948, these were the borders that were going to represent their state. However, Arabs, who opposed any independent Jewish state, launched a war of annihilation, which they lost and resulted in armistice lines that gave Israel more territory, depicted in the third map.
The third map represents the boundaries from 1949 until 1967, with the West Bank and east Jerusalem controlled by Jordan and Gaza controlled by Egypt. Neither country, during that time, created a Palestinian state in those territories. In June 1967, Arab armies again tried unsuccessfully to destroy the Jewish state. The Arab defeat resulted in Israeli control of the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem. (Israel withdrew its military from large areas of the West Bank in the 90s, and completely withdrew from Gaza in 2005).
The fourth map is supposed to represent the current US peace offer, but even that represents a lie, as it omits the access roads connecting what would be Palestinian territory, as well as parts of southern Israel that would become part of Palestine.
Here’s the actual conceptual map of ‘Palestine’ presented by the US administration.
Let’s also remember that Palestinian have turned down multiple Israeli peace offers which would have created a Palestinian state – for the first time in history – that included 100% of Gaza, over 90% of the West Bank, and east Jerusalem as their capital.
Finally, it’s important to note that CAMERA prompted an on-air correction at NBC an earlier version of this Palestinian propaganda map.
By presenting the map held by Abbas in the photo, with the caption “maps of historical Palestine”, the Daily Mail is promoting Palestinian propaganda, and legitimising an outrageous historical lie.
- AFP lends hand to Palestinian propaganda (CAMERA)
- BBC Radio 4’s preemptive framing of the ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan (BBC Watch)
- What does the Guardian think Palestinian leaders should do to advance peace? (UK Media Watch)
- The mendacious maps of Palestinian “loss” (The Tower)