Misleading Maps of Israel and Palestinian Territories



Newton Public Schools use a series of four maps in teaching students the Arab-Israel conflict that falsely depict Israel as progressively stealing Palestinians’ land.

The maps insinuate that there used to be a country called “Palestine,” when in reality the region labelled “100% of Historic Palestine” shown in Map 1 was part of the Ottoman Empire.

Map 2 claims to show that the Jews were offered 52% of “historic Palestine” by the UN and the Palestinian Arabs only 48%. In reality maps’ use of the term “historic Palestine” to refer to land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is incorrect and fails to include the territory of Transjordan. This large chunk of land comprised the majority of “historic Palestine” and was in 1922 assigned by the British for exclusive Arab use where Jewish settlement was banned.

Map 3 shows the West Bank and Gaza as independent states, when in fact these territories were occupied and annexed by Jordan and Egypt after 1948.

Map 4 grossly misrepresents the borders of the Palestinian state that was offered by Israel to Arafat at Camp David.

The graphic used in Newton schools was created by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s “Negotiations Affairs Department,” which is the PLO’s public relations and messaging unit. NAD’s mission is to “to mobilize local and international civil society organizations to undertake advocacy on behalf of Palestinian positions,” by “undertaking outreach activities in the United States.”

The PLO’s propagandists, in a fine print disclaimer under the original maps graphic admit that the maps currently being presented to Newton high school students as fact are actually, “for illustrative purposes only. Boundary representations are not authoritative.” So the handout resembles something like a cartoon with the message: “The Jews stole our land.”

At some point between the maps’ publication by the PLO and their landing on the desks of Newton students, this disclaimer – that the maps were not literally true — was purposely removed.

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