MSNBC Tries to Make Point About Israeli-Palestinian Conflict…Using Inaccurate Maps

MSNBC was widely criticized by Israel supporters over the weekend after presenting a series of Israel-Palestine maps long discredited as historically inaccurate.

Those complaints prompted reporter Martin Fletcher to later admit he “should have corrected” the first map which he only saw once he was on the air.

“Daniel, you’re right. I should have corrected the first map, which I didn’t see until I was on air. No excuses,” Fletcher wrote on Facebook in response to a viewer who complained MSNBC had aired a “blatantly false map series produced by Palestinian propagandists.”

The series of four maps purported to show Israel’s alleged encroachment on “historically Palestinian” land.

In the televised segment Friday, anchor Kate Snow presented the first map as an illustration of “historically the areas that used to be Palestine in 1946.”

Fletcher responded to Snow by calling the succession of maps “pretty shocking when you present it in this way. What it clearly shows is that if there’s no peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israel, more of those green areas, more of that Palestinian land will be eaten up by Jewish settlements.”

“This is what it’s all about. It’s all about the land,” Fletcher said.

The pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon who for years has outed organizations presenting what he calls “the map that lies” took MSNBC to task for airing the recycled show-and-tell.

The blog described the timeline of maps as a “ubiquitous piece of lying propaganda that Israel haters like to use to push their agenda, truth be damned.”

One glaring distortion in the MSNBC presentation was the suggestion that there was a state of Palestine that belonged to Palestinian Arabs in 1946.

In fact, the area was then under the British mandate when “Palestinian” more often referred to Jews living there than Arabs, as demonstrated by the names of major Jewish projects including the Palestine Orchestra (today, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra) and the Palestine Post (today, the Jerusalem Post).

The Elder of Ziyon blog pointed out that even the suggestion that the areas of the map colored green were privately-held Palestinian-Arab land “is simply a lie.”

The second map in the sequence was also problematic as it did not acknowledge that the Arabs rejected the U.N.’s 1947 partition plan which recommended the territory then under British control be divided into two states, one for Jews and one for Arabs.

MSNBC also, mistakenly, called the yellow-colored part of its second map “Israel,” though the state of Israel did not declare independence until 1948.

Other pro-Israel websites have highlighted the misleading maps which have appeared in anti-Israel ads on the sides of buses.

Shany Mor, former foreign policy director for the Israeli National Security Council, in January wrote a piece in The Tower magazine examining the map sequence.

In the article titled “The Mendacious Maps of Palestinian ‘Loss,’” Mor wrote, “There is a reason why those who make use of these maps avoid examining their provenance or proving their accuracy: The maps are egregiously, almost childishly dishonest.”