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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New atlas of "Historic Palestine"

Ma'an reports:
The Palestinian Return Centre in London held a seminar Friday to release an atlas of Palestine between 1917 and 1966.

The project is the work of Professor Salaman Abu Sita, who used official documents and maps collected from German, French, Turkish and British archives to outline the history, landscape and geography of Palestine, a statement from the centre said.

In a presentation attended by MPs, journalists and researchers, Abu Sita analysed the ongoing mechanism of expulsion which began in 1947, the centre said.

"I think there is a lack of true, historic and documented evidence of Palestine that Israel tried to erase particularly in the West. The Israeli narrative for many years has been mainstream even though it's faced severe knocks. This Atlas now provides the shattering blow. The atlas simply debunks many myths including the idea that Palestine was empty," PRC director Majed Al-Zeer said.

Why would the atlas choose 1917 as the start date to study Palestine? I thought that "historic Palestine" was there for hundreds of years!

Could it be that Palestinian Arabs define themselves in terms of Jewish return (the date of the Balfour Declaration) rather than in terms of their own, supposedly historic ties to the land?

Or could it be because "historic Palestine" includes parts of Jordan and Lebanon, and that fact would embarrass Palestinian Arabs who are only interested in Jewish-controlled land today?

The author of this atlas had written another atlas five years ago, Atlas of Palestine 1948. Benny Morris reviewed the book in 2005 for The New Republic, and while the original article is no longer available, I had copied most of it here. Morris demolishes Abu Sitta's scholarship with numerous examples of dishonesty and chicanery. It is very worthwhile to read that article because it shows how deep Palestinian Arab lies go, making up facts out of whole cloth in service of their narrative.

No doubt this new book adds many more lies to the tapestry.