MYTH: Palestinian maps reflect their goal of coexistence with Israel.


One of the principal criticisms of Israel’s desire to apply sovereignty to some or all of Judaea and Samaria (West Bank) as allowed under the Trump peace plan is that it will make a two-state “solution” more difficult, if not impossible. Setting aside the demographic issue (more than 100,000 Jews would have to be forced from their homes), which makes the popular conception of a Palestinian state in more than 90% of the West Bank almost inconceivable, advocates ignore Palestinians’ objection to creating a state that would coexist beside Israel.

While Palestinian leaders sometimes give lip-service to the idea of a two-state solution, they convey a very different message in word and deed. They also communicate  their true goal – a single state of Palestine replacing Israel – through imagery. Take this map that appeared on the Palestinian Authority web site, which really communicates better than any words the Palestinian objective.

The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is also head of its dominant faction, Fatah. The word “Fatah” is a reverse acronym of the Arabic Harekat at-Tahrir al-Wataniyyeh al-Falastiniyyeh, meaning “conquest by means of jihad [Islamic holy war].” The Fatah flag features a grenade with crossed rifles superimposed on the map of Israel. This emphasizes the dedication of Fatah, along with the other “liberation” groups, to the “armed struggle” against Israel, which is a euphemism for terrorism against civilians.

It should be noted that Fatah is often referred to as “secular;” however, Fatah’s devotion to jihad is similar to that of the radical Islamic Hamas terror organization. This is a reminder that the conflict with Israel is less about land and politics and more about the refusal of Muslim extremists to accept a Jewish state. Not surprisingly, the “moderate” Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state or agree to a settlement that would result in a Palestinian state coexisting with the Jewish state of Israel.

Fatah is the largest faction of the PLO, which has its own unambiguous emblem:

To make sure that young Palestinians get the message, this is the emblem for the Fatah Youth Movement:

The Palestinian education system is committed to communicating to students of all ages that only one state should exist between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River – Palestine.

PA Minister of Education poses with map of Palestine replacing Israel (February 2, 2017)

Palestinian textbooks send a similar message to school children. Here are just two examples:

“Al-Tarbiyah al-Wataniyyah” (“National Education”) 3rd grade, page 49, academic year 2002-2003
“The Geography of Palestine”

Nan Jacques Zilberdik reported, “As part of its protests against the normalization agreements between Israel and the UAEBahrain, and Sudan – and the fear that more Arab states will follow – Fatah posted the image below [on the Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, October 28, 2020] with four repetitions of the PA map of “Palestine” that includes all of Israel” (Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “All of Israel is “Palestine” in Fatah message,” PMW, November 3, 2020).

Public opposition to the principle of “two states for two peoples” has also been on the rise. Five years ago, 50% of Palestinians (only 44% of Gazans) were willing to accept the two-state solution; in 2020 the figure is 20% (David Pollock, “A Nation Divided,” Washington Institute, June 2020).

The two-state solution may provide the best opportunity for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but the evidence suggests the Palestinians have a different goal in mind.


Published at Myths and Facts

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