Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday 25 May 2014

Edgar Maps The Mischief

Photo: Richard Millett
I've referred to Edgar Davidson's British-based blog several times in the past.  Cerebral, original, and sometimes satirical, he's one of my favourite pro-Israel bloggers.  His latest post is a valuable contribution to that small but vital body of internet posts that refute the mendacious, mischievous set of four map that, claiming to show Zionist land thefts of Arab land, constitutes a seemingly ubiquitous graphic corollary to the allegation of a "disappearing Palestine".

The set of maps is, it appears, an essential prop in the equipment of all anti-Israel propagandists, featuring as it does on posters pinned up during Israel-bashing meetings, intended for the sides of buses, given pride of place at Israel-bashing demonstrations (see, for instance, here), and comprising sticky posts on websites such as this one.

Notes Mr Davidson, in what should be required reading for every naive individual snared or likely to be snared by propagandistic anti-Israel malice, but of course won't be:
These maps are based on the completely false premise that, prior to 1947 there was an Arab state of Palestine. In fact the Palestine that was promised to the Jews as part of the Balfour declaration was the British mandate territory that includes what later become the state of Jordan (my map above top left). There was not and never has been
an Arab state of Palestine even though, between 1948 and 1967 there was no 'occupied territories' of the West Bank or Gaza since these areas were then under the full control of Jordan and Egypt respectively. The Palestinian Arabs living there during that period never called for an independent state of their own.
Only the Jews of Palestine considered themselves Palestinian before 1948. The Arabs
most of whom had come to Palestine from Egypt and Syria because of the economic opportunities opened up by the Jews considered themselves to be Syrian.
 Despite the fact that 80% of mandate Palestine (not shown on the maps that lie) had already been granted to the Arabs exclusively to become the new state of Jordan, the Jews of Palestine accepted the UN partition plan of 1947. The surrounding Arab states did not accept it and launched a war of annihilation against the Jews (during and after which some 1 million Jews from Arab countries were forced to leave
most of them came to Israel).
The result of the war that was intended to murder every single Jew in Palestine was that the invading Arab armies were defeated and the Jews controlled slightly more territory overall than was part of the 1947 plan; however, they also lost some territory such as the Jewish quarter of East Jerusalem (including Judaism's holiest sites such as the Wailing Wall) and Gush Etzion that even the 1947 plan had not considered to be under Arab control.
The UN accepted the 1949 armistice line as defining the borders of Israel, while calling for East Jerusalem (now under Jordanian occupation) to be 'internationalised'.
The Arab states refused to recognise the State of Israel and have continued to this day to try to destroy it. The Jordanians who occupied East Jerusalem in 1948 expelled every Jew and destroyed every synagogue in the old city. Not a single Jew was allowed to enter Judaism's holiest sites until 1967 when, after the Egyptians, Jordanians and Syrians launched another attempted war of annihilation, Israel regained control over the old city and other areas.
Israel offered to withdraw from all the newly gained territories in return for peace but the offer was rejected by the Arab countries. With the exception of Jewish East Jerusalem Israel has essentially made the same offer over and again ever since but it has always been rejected. Despite this, Israel has returned the whole of Gaza and most of the West Bank to Palestinian control. But the Arabs continue to demand the destruction of all of Israel.
It is also important to show Israel in context with its Muslim neighbours ...
Mr Davidson's synopsis is an excellent model upon which proponents of the Israeli cause can base their responses to those who trot out those offending maps.

But that written refutation is not all.  For he has done yeoman service to the pro-Israel cause in providing a comprehensive set of rival maps, eight in all, which give an accurate overview of what the situation truly was and is.

See (and bookmark!) Edgar Davidson's post here

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