Today 29th November, or as it is quirkily called in Hebrew “kaf tet beNovember” (using the Hebrew numerical value of the calendar date), is the 71st anniversary of the fateful UN Resolution 181 which aimed to partition Palestine and created a Jewish area and an Arab area. As we all know, the resolution was rejected by the Arabs who never fulfilled any of its provisions or conditions, while it was accepted in full by the Jews. No sooner had the vote passed in the UN than 5 Arab armies invaded the newborn Jewish state with the overt intent of destroying it before it was born. They lost the war and the rest is history. For more background on the Partition Plan and the UN vote, read my post from last year.
In this context, I’m sure that many of you have probably seen the meme of “the four maps”, purporting to show how the map of Palestinian land shrank as the Jews “stole the land”.
This is an egregious lie, and is so easily debunked. The Elder of Ziyon debunked the myth many years ago in several blog posts. See “The Map that Lies, and one that doesn’t”, and “Debunking the Map that Lies“.
From the first link above:
The first panel has the biggest lie:
While I presume that the white sections are indeed the land that was privately owned by Jews, the land in green was not privately owned by Arabs.
Only a tiny percentage of land in Palestine was privately owned. The various categories of land ownership included:
- Mulk: privately owned in the Western sense.
- Miri: Land owned by the government (originally the Ottoman crown) and suitable for agricultural use. Individuals could purchase a deed to cultivate this land and pay a tithe to the government. Ownership could be transferred only with the approval of the state. Miri rights could be transferred to heirs, and the land could be sub-let to tenants. If the owner died without an heir or the land was not cultivated for three years, the land would revert to the state.
- Mahlul: Uncultivated Miri lands that would revert to the state, in theory after three years.
- Mawat (or Mewat): So-called “dead”, unreclaimed land. It constituted about 50 to 60% of the land in Palestine. It belonged to the government. …If the land had been cultivated with permission, it would be registered, at least under the Mandate, free of charge.
By the early 1940s Jews owned about one third of Mulk land in Palestine and Arabs about two-thirds. The vast majority of the total land, however, belonged to the government, meaning that when the state of Israel was established, it became legally Israel’s. (I believe that about 77% of the land was owned by the government, assuming 6 million dunams of private land as shown in this invaluable webpage on the topic from which I got much of this information.)
To say that the green areas were “Palestinian” land is simply a lie.
Even though the Elder of Ziyon’s research and presentation are excellent, I think that nothing explains the issue more clearly and more immediately grabs the attention than a video.
Here is an excellent video produced by J-TV showing, in much the same way as the Elder explains, precisely how the maps have been falsified and the numbers distorted to serve Palestinian propaganda.
Please bookmark this video (also on Facebook), the Elder of Ziyon’s blog posts, ‘Countering the Shrinking Maps Lie‘ and share them widely. Use them as often as you can when confronting lies about Israel “stealing Palestinian land” or libels of the Jews “ethnically cleansing the Arabs” when the precise opposite is the truth.