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College Politics Textbook Includes Debunked Israel-Palestine 'Map That Lies' — and Publisher Responds


"I was shocked and astonished to see this deceptive and false graphic being used in the textbook."

Image source: Elder of Ziyon

The McGraw-Hill Education book publisher said Wednesday that it would temporarily stop selling one of its college world politics textbooks so that it could review a previously discredited series of maps about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that was included in its pages.

In October, MSNBC apologized for airing the nearly identical four-map graphic, which it later called “completely wrong.”

The publisher’s decision came after pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon reported Tuesday that the map series appeared on page 123 of McGraw-Hill’s college textbook “Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World.”

The graphic purports to show how Israel has taken Palestinian land over five decades.

The map has been widely used by Israel detractors, and has been widely discredited. (Image source: Elder of Ziyon)

“Pending a review, we are placing a hold on sales of the book,” Catherine Mathis, chief communications officer for McGraw-Hill Education, told TheBlaze via email in response to a request for comment.

The book – which retails at online booksellers at $134.21 -- presented territories described as “Palestinian land” in green and “Jewish land” in blue in 1946 and 1947 and described the panels as showing the "Palestinian loss of land" over time.

Two more maps dated after Israel’s establishment as an independent state in 1948 denoted the territories as “Palestinian land” and “Israeli land.”

The problem is that Palestinians never actually had sovereignty over any land before Israel withdrew from Gaza and Jericho in 1994 as part of the Oslo Accords.

The blogger who writes under the pen name Elder of Ziyon has taken to calling the graphic “The Map that Lies.” It is often used by detractors of Israel trying to make a case that Israel has over the years vastly expanded its control over Palestinian land.

“The amount of ‘Palestinian land’ hasn't shrunk — it was created for the first time ever,” Elder of Ziyon observed, referring to Israel’s withdrawal from West Bank and Gaza territories under the Oslo Accords.

Contrary to the McGraw-Hill textbook’s map presentation, prior to the 1967 Six Day War, Jordan controlled the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and Egypt controlled the Gaza Strip. Palestinians living under Jordanian control were Jordanian citizens.

Furthermore, the entire territory comprising where both Jews and Arabs lived under control of the British Mandatory government between World War I and World War II was called “Palestine.” In fact, numerous Jewish initiatives before 1948 used the “Palestine” name, including the Palestine Post (the precursor to today’s Jerusalem Post) and the Palestine Orchestra (the precursor to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra).

Another key detail omitted in the college textbook is that the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan was rejected by the Arab states, which did not agree to the creation of a Jewish state, even in a fraction of the territory that comprises today’s Israel.

“I was shocked and astonished to see this deceptive and false graphic being used in the textbook. Up until now, it had only been used in anti-Israel propaganda,” blogger Elder of Ziyon told TheBlaze via email. “The authors edited the graphic to make it even worse, referring to each successive panel as a ‘stage’ as if the Jews have been planning to dispossess Arabs for over seventy years.”

The book appears to be used as a textbook in several college courses whose syllabi are posted online, including at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Western Illinois University.

Following a controversy that erupted after MSNBC aired the similar map graphic, the network acknowledged that “the maps were not factually accurate” and said that “we regret using them.”

Read Elder of Ziyon’s point-by-point explanation of the map's multiple flaws here.

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