Dissent Of The Day
A reader writes:
The "shrinking map of Palestine" to which you link is incomplete and inaccurate. I offer only three examples.First, its initial map of Palestine ignores at least two relevant points. (A) Under the Ottoman Empire, "Palestine" did not exist as a political entity. (B) In 1917, the British conquered the land on both sides of the Jordan River. Initially, the Palestine Mandate included both territories. This is why, before its annexation of the West Bank, the country now known as Jordan was called "Transjordan." Please see this Wikipedia map. In 1922 (others say 1923), Britain unilaterally partitioned the land into "Palestine," comprising what today are Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and "Transjordan." Some extreme Jewish nationalists and messianists claim that that partition either provided the Arabs of Palestine with a homeland ("Jordan is Palestine") or wrongfully deprived Jews of a part of our rightful patrimony -- "the Jordan has two banks, and both are ours."Second, the author omits a map of the partition proposed by the Peel Commission in 1937, which the Jewish Agency for Palestine, under David Ben Gurion, accepted, but the Palestinian Arab Higher Committee (under the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin el-Husseini) rejected. You can see how much land that rejection cost them.
Third, the caption under 2006 map reads: "Israeli government seeks to impose final borders by 2010." I don't know what Mr. Lahoud's source is, but so far as I am aware, however inadequate their conception of final borders may have been, neither the Sharon nor Olmert governments have tried to "impose" them.Of greater concern, are the fabricated quotations appearing below the maps. I'll limit myself to the first one: "We must expel Arabs and take their places." Ephraim Karsh has shown that Ben Gurion actually wrote: "We do not wish, we do not need to expel Arabs and take their place." Note that Karsh is criticizing Benny Morris, who cited Shabtai Teveth, the unattributed author of the work cited by Mr. Lahoud. In a more recent history, Morris has accepted the accuracy of Karsh's translation. (See Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001.)