Sunday, August 21, 2016

  • Sunday, August 21, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
The geography textbook that I recently mentioned was filled with anti-Israel lies was the fourth edition of  World Regional Geography.

In response to my initial criticism, the main author released this statement:

OK, let's look at the sixth edition.

It doesn't include some of the more egregious lies (like blaming Jews for modern terrorism,) but it still has plenty.

Here are the major errors - all against Israel - that can be seen in its three main pages on the topic. (Click to enlarge the pages.)

1. The choice of statistics gives a skewed picture. Why not compare Palestinian vital statistics with those of Egypt and Jordan, who controlled those territories before? Why not compare their statistics from 1967 with those in 1993, while they were under full Israeli control? The choice of what to show shows a bias and does not explain the entire story.

2. What is the source for this? Palestinians are far better educated than their Arab counterparts in most countries, and I think they are less impoverished as well. 

3. The book pretends that Palestinians controlled their own land before 1948, and it is not true. But this passage is worse, because it pretends that Israel has continuously been taking more and more land away from them over the years, when the only other event of significance happened in 1967 when the land was controlled by Egypt and Jordan. 

4. The separation barrier does not encircle the territories. Or any part of them.

5. The purpose of the barrier was to curtail Palestinian access? What is the source for that? It was purely for security. Israel allows tens of thousands of Palestinians to work in Israel every day.

6. The number of Arabs displaced by Zionist land purchases was quite small. A British report in 1931 found only 664 landless Arabs. The Peel Commission noted that most Jewish land purchases were in areas that had never been cultivated before, saying "The Arab claims that the Jews have obtained too large a proportion of good land cannot be maintained. Much of the land now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamps and uncultivated when it was bought."

7. What is missing is far more important than the errors in the text. How can it not mention the Arab riots in 1920, 1921, 1929, and 1936-9, aiming at killing Jews? How can it not mention the British White Paper that blocked hundreds of thousands of Jews from migrating to Israel from Europe, instead dooming them to being gassed to death? Which, incidentally, really was a breach of the Balfour Declaration!

8. It was not "warfare between the Jews and Palestinians" that began. The Arabs in Palestine attacked Jews immediately after the 1947 partition plan passed in 1947, way before May 1948. The Jewish defenders only went on the offense months later after absorbing many losses that no one else cared to stop.

1. Although the text now accurately says that the Arabs rejected the partition plan, the map caption says the Jews did and started the war. This is completely false. 

2. The Oslo Accords specifically said nothing about settlement expansion. I don't know anything about "verbal agreements in the Oslo Accords" - the phrase makes no sense, either they were part of the Accords or not, and they were not. Also, Oslo had nothing to do with the Golan Heights.

3. We could argue whether the settlements are "extralegal" but at least mention that Israel says that they are not illegal, and no Israeli court has ruled them illegal.

4. It is curious that in a page of maps it does not show Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

1. There was no "Palestinian" land to shrink. The area of British Mandate Palestine was British, then Israeli/Egyptian/Jordanian. It was never "Palestinian."

2. Who, exactly, forced them into refugee camps? It certainly wasn't Israel. Why does the text not mention how Arabs have discriminated against Palestinians for six decades?

3. Under Israeli law, they are equal, certainly since 1967. One can claim that there is de facto discrimination against Arabs by the Jewish majority, but saying that the state discriminates against Arab Israelis is not true.

4. To blame the second intifada on the settlements is simply false.

5. The Golan Heights is not "Palestinian territory" under any definition.

6. The term "occupied Palestinian territories" was not coined nor used by the UN until the 1990s. The Palestinian Arabs were not mentioned once in UNSC 242.

7. See above. UN 242 had nothing to do with any Palestinian state, and it was not even envisioned when it was written - it was for peace between Israel and the Arab states, especially Egypt and Jordan. Interestingly, the text here does not mention that Israel and Jordan are at peace, and only implies Israel's peace agreement with Egypt.

8. Not a word about Hamas coup, and their rockets and terror, that caused the closure of Gaza. Instead, the authors say that Israel "negated" its withdrawal. This is an outrageous assertion.

9. Thousands of Palestinians were not displaced by settlements. Essentially all settlements outside Hebron and Jerusalem were built in areas where no one ever lived before, and the numbers of Arabs displaced in those two cities is quite small, not to mention that the purchase of the houses was done legally.

10. This number, claiming 30,000 farmers separated from their land by the security barrier, is absolute fiction. I would be surprised if the number of landowners affected by the fence is 1% of that number.

There is more. A couple of pages later the authors claim that the Lebanese civil war of the 1970s was a spillover from the Arab-Israeli conflict, which is false. And then the authors claim that regional stability would naturally follow a peace agreement between Israel and Palestinians (plus an end to Syria's civil war.)

Plus, students who purchase the book have access to videos mentioned in the text, and who knows what errors are in those.

But these three pages show quite clearly that at least this college textbook is riddled with errors - nearly two dozen in only three pages - and all the errors seem to be in one direction, against Israel.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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