Censoring Palestinian Maps

When Zionists denounced a text book with maps showing historical Palestine, McGraw-Hill quickly caved, even destroying the copies in inventory, a victory for ideological censorship, writes Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

What is the difference between a textbook publisher giving into pressure from Christian fundamentalists seeking to censor the teaching of evolution, and a publisher giving into Zionists seeking to censor awareness of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine? Neither phenomenon is a matter of opinion or perspective.

One act of censorship denies facts established by scientific research. The other denies the documented violation of international law (for instance, the Fourth Geneva Convention) and multiple United Nations resolutions. So the answer to the question just asked is – there is no difference.

The Palestinian maps that came under criticism.

The Palestinian maps that came under criticism.

In early March 2016, executives at McGraw-Hill took the extreme step of withdrawing from the market a published text, Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World, and then proceeded to destroy all the remaining books held in inventory. (Did they burn them?)

Global Politics, which had been on the market since 2012, was a text designed by its authors to “offer students a number of lenses through which to view the world around them.” Why did McGraw-Hill do this?

Apparently the book was obliterated (this seems to be an accurate description of the publisher’s actions) because, like a biology text that describes the established facts of evolution, Global Politics offered a “lens to view the world” that was judged blasphemous by a powerful, influential and ideologically driven element of the community.

Of course, that is not how McGraw-Hill rationalized its action. Instead, the publisher claimed that a serious inaccuracy in the text was belatedly discovered. This took the form of a series of four maps  that show “Palestinian loss of land from 1946 to 2000.” The maps (see also attachment) are the first set which can be seen at the following link: http://www.thetower.org/3027ez-mcgraw-hill-publishes-college-textbook-with-mendacious-anti-israel-maps/

The maps in question are not new or novel. Nor are they historically inaccurate, despite Zionists’ claims to the contrary. They can be seen individually and in different forms on websites of the BBC and Mondoweiss and are published in a number of history books, such as Mark Tessler’s well-received A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Perhaps what the Zionists can’t abide is lining up the maps together in chronological order.

In truth, the objections reported to have been used by those who pressured McGraw-Hill are historically perverse – the sort of grasping at straws that reflects a biased and strained rewriting of history. For instance, an objection was made to the labeling of public land in pre-1948 Palestine as “Palestinian.” Why? Because the Zionist claim is that Palestine before 1948 was a British mandate and so the land was British and not Palestinian.

As their argument goes, “no one called the Arabs [of this area] Palestinians.” Of course, prior to 1948, no one called the East European Jews pouring in at this time “Israelis.” Further, according to those taking these maps to task, the West Bank at this time was controlled by Jordan and so it too was not Palestinian.

Obviously, no one brought up the fact that in September of 1922 the British had divided Palestine in two in order to artificially create what is now Jordan. The period after World War I was one of territorial transition, however, in Palestine, the one constant was the persistent presence of the Arab Palestinians.

The Zionists offered many other dubious objections to the maps, which seem to have sent the publisher into something of a panic. It would certainly appear that no one at McGraw-Hill knew enough relevant history to make an accurate judgment on the complaints.

Running Scared

McGraw-Hill’s response was to “immediately initiate an academic review,” which determined that the maps in question “did not meet our academic standards.” Who carried out the review? Well, McGraw-Hill won’t say, but insists those who did so were “independent academics.” Just what are McGraw-Hill’s “academic standards”? Well, those haven’t been articulated either. The publisher’s reluctance to elaborate its claims makes their actions suspicious at best.

As Rania Khalek noted in an March 11 article on the incident in Electronic Intifada, these particular maps, showing the loss of Palestinian land over decades of Israeli expansion, “have the ability to cut through Israeli propaganda that portrays Palestinian anger and violence as rooted in religious intolerance and irrational hatred rather than a natural reaction to Israel’s colonial expansionism, land theft and ethnic cleansing, all of which continue today.”

This gives insight into the strenuous efforts made by Zionists to keep the sequenced maps away from any mass market distribution. As it is, they seem to have overlooked this textbook source for some four years. However, once they spotted it, and began “flooding” McGraw-Hill with complaints from “multiple sources,” it took the publisher only about a week to suspend sales of the book.

The next obvious question is why didn’t McGraw-Hill move to change the maps or just remove them? Why destroy the entire inventory? The extreme nature of the publisher’s response remains unexplained but may stand as a testimony to the fact that the Zionist lobby has the same power within the corporate ranks of this textbook publisher as the anti-evolution fundamentalists have over most biology textbooks.

The Zionists’ Maps

The Zionists who made the claim that the Global Politics maps are “mendacious” do so from a starting assumption that all the land from the Suez Canal to Golan Heights and Jordan River has always been Hebrew-Israeli.

On this basis they posit their own maps  (see also attachment) to make the claim that modern Israel, at least since 1967 and “in the pursuit of peace,” has voluntarily relinquished land rather than illegally taken it. These maps are the second set seen at http://www.thetower.org/3027ez-mcgraw-hill-publishes-college-textbook-with-mendacious-anti-israel-maps/

It is significant that the Zionist maps begin in 1967, a year of major Israeli expansion through conquest. And, of course, the only land concession of any consequence since then is the Sinai Desert. The Zionist cartographical suggestion that Israel has given up Gaza and West Bank land is just a sleight of hand, given Israel’s use of Gaza as a prison colony and continued military control of every inch of the West Bank.

Finally, it is important to note that Israeli school maps are often pure propaganda. For instance, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz recently carried a story about a map used to teach seventh graders about the country’s geography. The map omits the “green line,” which is recognized internationally as Israel’s eastern border, as well as the majority of the nation’s Arab-Israeli communities. Maybe the Israeli Ministry of Education used McGraw-Hill’s “academic standards” to create this map.

Within academia there is the belief that textbooks are not to be subject to ideological censorship. This is a rather naive, but important, ideal. If such texts cannot maintain this level of integrity, the entire educational exercise becomes open to propaganda.

Unless McGraw-Hill becomes transparent about its “independent academic review” and offers an explanation as to why it went to the extreme of destroying its inventory of Global Politics, one can only assume that the publisher has no objection to censoring its products in the face of pressure from an ideologically driven group.

No doubt the motivation here is fear of controversy and subsequent market losses. In the absence of substantiating information, the whole story of an independent review and academic standards must be dismissed as a cover-up.

The sad truth is that the suborning of textbooks addressing culturally sensitive subjects has become a standard practice. Thus, the process of education is indeed threatened by incessant propaganda. This includes the culture war that swirls around American biology textbooks. It also includes the powerful Zionist drive to literally wipe the Palestinians off the map.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism.


18 comments for “Censoring Palestinian Maps

  1. david singer
    March 29, 2016 at 03:54

    The maps displayed are misleading

    Map 1:
    The heading – “Palestinian and Jewish Land 1946“ – is misleading for the following reasons:
    (i) The map excludes Transjordan which in 1946 still comprised 78% of the territory of the Mandate for Palestine until granted independence by Great Britain in May 1946.
    (ii) The land described as “Palestinian land” misleadingly implies legal ownership by the Palestinian Arabs of that land when in fact about 90% of it was State land under British Mandatory control and legal power of disposition.

    Map 2:
    The legend “Palestinian land” is misleading.
    The legend should have said “proposed Jewish State” and “proposed Arab State” – the terms used in the UN Partition Plan.

    Map 3:
    The heading “1949-1967” is misleading.
    The map should have shown the unification of the West Bank with Transjordan between 1949 and 1967 and the change of name of Transjordan to Jordan in 1950.
    It should also have designated the Gaza Strip as being under Egyptian military administration between 1948-1967.

    Map 4:
    One can only wonder why the year 2000 was chosen. Why not 2015 after Israel had already withdrawn from Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank in 2005 and dismantled many illegal outposts?

    In any event the legend “Palestinian land” and “Israeli land” is again wrong and misleading in so far as it relates to the West Bank. The land there should have been shown as Areas “A”, “B” and “C”

    As maps designed to be taught to students they are totally lacking in accuracy and ignore basic facts in their compilation.
    Designating land as “Palestinian land” in any event implies that such land belongs to the “Palestinians”. Since there were no persons designated as “Palestinians” until the 1964 PLO Charter defined that term – the use of the term in maps before then smacks of an attempt to re-write history.

    Mc Graw Hill had no option but to discard these maps.

  2. Nancy Brenner
    March 25, 2016 at 17:24

    You state: “The map omits the “green line,” which is recognized internationally as Israel’s eastern border, as well as the majority of the nation’s Arab-Israeli communities.” Actually, you are incorrect as international law 242 designates the “green line” as armistice lines. These armistice lines were never designated as border lines. Big difference. Facts and international law do supersede what the majority of nations or communities may or may not believe. This article ignores/omits international law. This is very disappointing as I’ve come to expect much better from this site.

  3. Deschutes
    March 24, 2016 at 14:04

    It’s outrageous, isn’t it? Pressuring a publisher to remove accurate maps from books to accommodate the Zionist Israeli agenda. The thing is, the Zionists are getting more and more powerful. Look at all of the dual US-Israel citizenship congressmen. Lieberman, Sanders, Rahm Emmanuel, Wolfowitz, Franken, Wasserman-Schultz…the list goes on and on. Like it or lump it: the Jews and the Zionists call the shots in Washington now. The sad thing in all this is that Israel will drag the US military into more and more Middle East quagmires for the selfish gain of Israel. Iraq wasn’t fought for oil; it was fought for Israel’s geo-political interests. It’s a really bad situation we are in and it’s gonna get a lot worse in the years to come :-(

  4. george
    March 24, 2016 at 09:09

    anti Semites? try calling a European Jew a Arab and see the reaction you get. Term Semite has been hi jacked to give Jews the right to claim Arab lands. Swindlers! These liars have no shame.

  5. jon vonn
    March 23, 2016 at 10:51

    So what? The reality is the errors of 1917 reverberate though out time. However, the maps prove that Isreal has won land and the right to exist. Amoung nations rights mean the military might to win and hold land. The real problem is the continueing terror attacks the continue the necessary expansion. No nation will stand by and allow terrorist attacks to continue. The end game of each side is the elimination of the enemy.
    That is the reality.

    • Duglarri
      March 25, 2016 at 03:01

      By elimination of the enemy, you of course mean, a final solution?

      Israel has won the right to exist, you say- by implication, does that mean that others who have not won this right are bound to cease to exist?

      You’re for genocide, then?

      If so, you are certainly in increasingly open company. Israel is on a clear path to genocide, of course. How else to end, finally, this resistance with scissors?

      What else can “elimination” mean?

  6. Rainer Hertig
    March 22, 2016 at 05:42

    @Zachary Smith

    Yes, all are wrong except of zionist right wings. “Your” link – the tower.org – is just another pr site of these warmongers. Yes, I know, that Hillary Clinton receives lots of donations from this side and if she get elected the price will be high. As secretary of state she messed up Northern Africa and is responsible that Northern African refugees are currently flooding Europe. And I am sure that after she has been elected at least the Middle East will burn. The Zionists, the American military complex and of course the neoliberal movement will smile for even more destruction as we have already.

  7. Evangelista
    March 21, 2016 at 19:49

    The problem appears to be Book Publisher McGraw-Hill backing down instead of facing up to Zionist-Propagandists’ pressuring, but this is not the case. The real problem is the United States Justice System being suborned. Those controlling the United States’ system of law have turned that system from the principles-defined purposes assigned it in the United States Constitution to a precedents-defined system, where what the powerful of the system have dictated, instead of fundamental principles, becomes controlling.

    As the body of ‘Precedents’ has grown, and become diversified, as the defining Justices have adjusted their interpretations to serve different end purposes, there has come to be a pot-pourri of potential ‘decisive precedents’ that following judges may choose from, including precedents to ignore all law and rule for power and ‘pragmatism’.

    This has made law in the United States what lawyers now call “a crap-shoot”. Going into a court is no longer dependent on right or strength of case, it is a roll of the dice.

    But more than that, for influence and corruption and judiciary elitism and favoring and other factors in similar vein, the dice can be loaded.

    Thus, in a case like might be brought by Zionist censors against a book publisher, there is les than an uneven chance that if the publisher pays good money for good lawyers to defend right and right to publish and the public’s right to read, the publisher will go down in court, if not economically before hand.

    Publishing is a competitive business and fewer books are being read, so margins are small and smaller. And, publishing being business, keeping the business going trumps upholding ideals. It is sort of the chill effect, along with the ability of corruption to add a little warming, such as promises to produce helpful instead of harmful reviews for a struggling publisher’ bread-and-butter books, to contributing to aid publishers taking of an economic hit for ‘doing the right thing’ (here meaning pulling a book out of circulation) to help make up the loss the pulling would result in.

    Once a corrupt system’s courts go, so there is no, or virtually no, recourse, standing up for right, ideals, principles, etc. becomes pointless, suicidal, a sacrifice with no potential for purpose. Corruption (here meaning the propagandists) ‘wins’ (here meaning everyone loses and the society dives).

    • Guy St Hilaire
      March 22, 2016 at 21:33

      Is this what drinking the Kool-Aid is all about because reality is just too hard to face ?

  8. CC
    March 21, 2016 at 18:52

    Pick-up any history book on Isreal from the 1930s-70s and they do show these borders that were pulled by McGraw-Hill. You can’t hide the truth. Incredible!

    • Guy St Hilaire
      March 22, 2016 at 21:25

      So very true CC ,the truth does win out . History can only be distorted temporarily .

  9. doray
    March 21, 2016 at 17:36

    Personally, I believe indigenous peoples of the world are “God’s” chosen humans. They’re the only whole cultures that respect the Creation. (“Creation” being a loose term here. It created itself, but it’s still a “Creation.”)

    • Guy St Hilaire
      March 22, 2016 at 21:23

      Very true and now we are all indigenous ,all born of mother earth ,but in a much more all encompassing way , involving Spirit ,the wayshower .

      Peace .

  10. Zachary Smith
    March 21, 2016 at 00:42

    According to my link, Mr. Lawrence Davidson has the map issue totally wrong.


    Going to the homepage of this site, we learn:

    “From manufacturing to medical research, the Jewish state is crucial to the economic health of the U.S.” (and to think some goyim believe they’re a destructive blood-sucking parasite controlling the behavior of the US of A!)

    “Iran Is More Deeply Tied to ISIS Than You Think” (as is also widely known, Iran took down the twin towers on 9/11 while other treacherous Arabs danced with joy)

    “How the Mufti of Jerusalem Created the Permanent Problem of Palestinian Violence”

    “An Ancient Ethnic Cleansing Remembered” (no, this one isn’t about the Exodus)

    If Mr. Davidson goes to the right web sites, he’ll learn that Israel is destined to be full of God’s Favorite People who instinctively practice all the Seven Virtues of chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. It’s really very simple if you look at the Big Picture with the proper attitude.

    When the True Maps of the future accurately show the total absence of the subhuman Paleos, no doubt God will be really satisfied.

    • Baby Siqueira Abrão
      March 23, 2016 at 07:02

      kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk… What a joke, Mr. Smith! Great joke! Congrats. I’ve never seen so many rubbish in so few lines.

    • Joshua
      March 24, 2016 at 18:30

      Do you people really believe that the world buys into your crap? Chosen people? Over whom?

  11. Fergus Hashimoto
    March 20, 2016 at 21:09

    This kind of geographical revisionism works the other way too. Bat Ye’or complains that historical exhibits at the British Museum include the label “Palestine” even for historical periods when no such name was current.
    You’re not complaining about Islamophobia, you’re complaining about ethnic politics.

  12. Joseph
    March 20, 2016 at 17:48

    It is unfortunate that when a group suffers terribly from injustice by the right wing of another group, as the Jews suffered from German fascism, the most common defensive reaction is to give power to their own right wing, as the Jews have done in Israel. This results in the terrible irony of Israeli fascism against Palestine, so ironic that they attack anyone who dares call them fascist, no matter how obvious it is. It has also resulted in Jewish fascist control of US mass media, elections, and foreign policy.

    Zionists control the entire publishing industry directly or indirectly. Just look at the titles selected by Barnes and Noble, and compare the percentage of Jewish authors and subjects to their three percent of the population. Research in the 1980s showed that 40 to 60 percent of the largest newspapers were directly controlled by Jews, and the same is true of magazines. Often this is hidden: Consumers Reports has no obvious bias in editor names, but the parent organization Consumers Union is almost entirely Jewish, obviously not a coincidence. They steadily bought influence and board positions at National Geographic, which dropped its prior unbiased coverage of the Israel-Palestine issue. No US televised media ever say anything negative about any Jewish person, so they are also ethnically controlled.

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