Maps distributed by the Palestinian Authority are an important and tangible method of instilling fundamentally negative messages related to the Arab-Israeli conflict. These messages include ignoring Israel's existence, denying the Jewish biblical bond to the Holy Land, fulfilling the obligation of the “right of return,” continuing armed struggle for the liberation of Palestine and perpetuating hatred of the State of Israel.
Significant changes in the maps of “Palestine” would be an important indicator of a real willingness by the Palestinians to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and arrive at a negotiated settlement based on the two-state solution. Until such time as the PA changes the message it delivers through official maps, any Palestinian leader insisting he is ready for peace with Israel must be taken with a grain of salt.
Below are examples of maps depicting “Palestine” as a single entity without marking the “green line,” as well as examples omitting Israel and referring to “Palestine” as a single entity in Palestinian textbooks. which were circulated by various bodies.
Click any map to enlarge:
The following maps of “Palestine” are unusual because the “green line” is marked, but there is no mention of Israel's name.
The cities appearing in the area west of the “green line” omit Jewish-Israeli cities such as Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Rishon Le'Zion, Natanya, Hadera, Holon, Bat Yam, and Eilat. The cities mentioned in Israeli territory west of the “green line” are those that up until 1948 were distinctly Arab-Palestinian (namely Acre, Nazareth, Beit She'an, Lod, Ramla, Jaffa, Beersheba) or cities that have a mixed Jewish-Arabic population. Especially notable is the fact that Tel Aviv is not mentioned at all and Jaffa is referenced instead. These are common characteristics of maps disseminated throughout the PA areas.
The messages regarding the right of the Palestinian people to all of “Palestine” are disseminated through icons. To demonstrate the message of “Palestine” as a single Palestinian entity extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean sea, miniature maps of Palestine adorned with the colors of the Palestinian flag or bound by it, are circulated throughout the PA areas and beyond.
Following are some examples.
Maps of “Palestine” that include names of Arab villages abandoned during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, data concerning Palestinian refugees in the “diaspora,” and the administrative division of Palestine during the British mandate period, play a tangible role in inculcating the value of the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees, and in intensifying hatred towards Israel. These maps are published by the PA, the Hamas Movement, academic institutions, and entities and associations operating in the PA areas. Messages instilling the “right of return” are also incorporated into the curriculum of the PA education system.