Guardian interactive map rewrites Israeli-Arab history

On the Israel page of the Guardian you’ll find one of their interactive maps, titled “Changing map of Israel and the Palestinian territories“, which represents another example of a media institution which accepts the Palestinian narrative of the conflict at face value.

Here’s the first image:

When you read the text you’ll note a few facts which, for some reason, are missing, such as the fact that the Zionist leadership accepted partition and the Arabs rejected it.

Even more dishonest is the passage “war broke out”.  

No, war didn’t suddenly “break out” but, rather, on the day Israel declared independence they were attacked by six Arab armies – Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Transjordan, and Egypt – with the explicit aim of destroying the nascent Jewish state.  

Also, note the legend at the bottom of the map.

There’s a color marking the Green Line, as well as one marking “Israeli settlements”, (both of which we’ll see in future maps), and a color for “Palestinian areas”.  Yet, there’s no color which notes Jewish/Israeli areas.  The color which marks Israeli land is merely noted as “UN partition plan.” 

Again, read the text and note one glaring omission.  While Israel, following the war, “consolidated control” over a larger part of land originally partitioned by the UN, there’s no mention of who, precisely, annexed the remaining territory: Egypt, in Gaza, and Jordan, in the West Bank and “East” Jerusalem – an occupation which would last for 18 years. (Also, note that the Gaza territory, occupied by Egypt in the aftermath of the war, is completely absent in the Guardian map)


Again, there’s a clear effort to avoid assigning causation for the Six Day War.

So, here’s a brief history.

As early as 1965, Syrian bombardment and terrorist attacks against Israel intensified, and Nasser’s rhetoric became increasingly bellicose. In 1965, he announced:

“We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand; we shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood.”

Again, a few months later, Nasser expressed the Arabs’ aspiration:

“the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. In other words, we aim at the destruction of the state of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel.

On May 15, 1967, Egyptian troops began moving into the Sinai and massing near the Israeli border. By May 18, Syrian troops were prepared for battle along the Golan Heights.

Nasser then ordered the UN Emergency Force (UNEF), stationed in the Sinai since 1956 as a buffer between Israeli and Egyptian forces after the Sinai Campaign, to withdraw on May 16.

Again, Nasser:

“As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.”

On May 22, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping and all ships bound for Eilat. This blockade cut off Israel’s only supply route with Asia and stopped the flow of oil from its main supplier, Iran.

Nasser threatened Israel almost daily. “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight..” he said on May 27.  The following day, he added:

“We will not accept any…coexistence with Israel…Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel….The war with Israel is in effect since 1948.

The Arab rhetoric was matched by the mobilization of Arab forces. 

By June 4,  Iraq joined the military alliance which by then included Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, Algeria and Sudan.

Approximately 465,000 troops, more than 2,800 tanks, and 800 aircraft ringed Israel – armed largely by the Soviet Union.

On June 5th, Israel, facing the prospect of a massive Arab invasion on several fronts, decided to act, and launched an aerial assault on enemy planes on the ground which was so successful that, by the end of the first day, nearly the entire Egyptian and Jordanian air forces, and half the Syrians’, had been destroyed.  

The subsequent tank and infantry battles were equally successful, and on June 10th, with IDF forces in a position to march on Cairo, Damascus, and Amman, Israel accepted calls by the UN and the U.S. for a ceasefire. 

In Six Days of War, Israel thwarted Arab designs to wipe Israel off the map – a bit of context the Guardian chose not to provide.

Note here that the Guardian decided to jump to 1978, only mentioning in passing the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in which, again, largely Soviet armed Arab armies of Egypt and Syria (as well as Lybia, Iraq, Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan) launched a surprise attack on the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.  Israel finally prevailed, but the nation was caught so off guard that during the first few days of the conflict, with Arab forces advancing on southern and northern fronts, the situation looked so grim that Defense Minister Moshe Dayan reportedly feared Israel’s complete defeat.

Next map:

Next map:

This is truly remarkable. An Intifada “erupted”.  There’s no mention of the more than 1,000 Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists during the Intifada, which necessitated the construction of a security fence in first place. Note also, how the barrier is characterized as “partly” following 1949 borders, while, in fact, only 7% of the fence is beyond 1949 boundaries. Finally, the Guardian chose not to note the dramatic decrease in terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli civilians as a result of the security barrier.

Final map:

So, from late 2000 to 2011, nothing of significance occurred.  

There’s no mention of the contiguous Palestinian state (which included 97% of the West Bank, 100% of Gaza, and East Jerusalem), offered by Israeli PM Ehud Barak, and rejected by Arafat.

There’s no mention of Israel’s withdrawal from S. Lebanon in 2000, and Hezbollah’s subsequent ascendancy, nor the Iranian backed terrorist groups’ firing of thousands of rockets into northern Israeli towns, necessitating the 2nd Lebanon War.

There’s no mention of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, and the subsequent take over of the territory by Hamas.

And, there’s no mention of Israeli PM Ehud Olmert’s offer to the Palestinians in 2008, which was even more generous than Barak’s offer in 2000, which Mahmoud Abbas rejected.

The distortions contained in this interactive map are extraordinary, and truly could have been written by the Palestinian ministry of information. 

As we’ve continually argued, whatever your political persuasion regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, the Guardian does not report the news in any serious sense of the word.

The Guardian, plain and simple, serves as political advocates for the Palestinian cause.  

13 replies »

  1. Just the first map is incorrect by not noting that Jerusalem area was supposed to have been international area.
    BTW, Saudi arabia also sent troops to attack Israel.

  2. The Guardian makes it up as it goes along!

    I’m surprised it did not add that Egypt were the victors in the Yom Kippur war, which i believe the Egyptians commemorate and mark as war of victory every October 6th. Yes, they gained some kudos from the initial surprise attack and early advances. But a victory? TG not.

  3. Excellent analysis of this attempt to rewite history – a favorite occupation of the Guardian’s..

    There are a few more “errors” ..

    The 1949 map does not show the Gaza Strip and barely shows a tiny section of the armistice line with Egypt as going directly to the Mediterranean rather than around Gaza, which was under brutal Egyptian repression till the 6 Day War

    To say the Arabs “fought back in the Yom Kippur War” rather than “launched an unprovoked surprise attack” is some pretty nifty spin-doctoring of what actually occurred in 1973 – and does not even mention the year it occurred.

    The leap to 1978 allows them to ignore 1973 and how the war ended, and therefore they also did not have to show Sinai on a map and how much land Israel returned to gain that agreement with Egypt.

    • Thanks Akus. I’m editing the post now to note that the 1949 map, for some reason, didn’t note Gaza

  4. OT, but excellent article from Dershowitz:

    I support a two-state solution based on negotiation and mutual compromise. But the negotiations must not begin where previous offers, which were not accepted, left off. They must take into account how we got to the present situation: The Arab rejection of the UN partition plan and the attack on the new Jewish state that resulted in the death of one percent of Israel’s population; the attack by Jordan and its Palestinian soldiers against Israel in 1967, which resulted in Israel’s capture of the West Bank; Israel’s offer to trade captured land for peace that was rejected at Khartoum with the three infamous “no’s”—no peace, no recognition, no negotiation; Israel’s generous offer of statehood in 2000-2001 that was answered by violence; and Olmert’s subsequent, even more generous, offer that was not accepted by President Abbas.

    Efforts to achieve peace must look forward but they must not forget the past. A balance must be struck between not rewarding past violence and not creating unreasonable barriers to a future peace. But the Palestinians made it clear last week that they reject such balance.

    I was at the United Nations on Friday when President Abbas made his speech demanding full recognition of Palestine as a state with the borders as they existed just before the Jordanians and Palestinians attacked Israel. In other words he wants a “do over.” He wants the nations that attacked Israel to suffer no consequences for their attempt to destroy the Jewish State. He wants to get back The Western Wall, The Jewish Quarter, and the access road to Hebrew University. Only then will he begin negotiations from this position of strength. But why then negotiate if the UN gives him more than he can possibly get through negotiation? Will he be in a position to seek less from Israel than what the UN gave him? Will he survive if he is seen as less Palestinian than the UN? Abbas blamed Israel for the self-inflicted wound the Palestinians cynically call the Nakba (the catastrophe). He denied the Jewish history of the land of Israel and he quoted with approval his terrorist predecessor Arafat. He refused to acknowledge Israel’s legitimate security needs. Abbas’s message, in sum, left little or no room for further compromise.

  5. During the course of recent history, the Jewish people have received documents and signed several agreements with prominent leaders, countries and international organizations.

    Following documents:

    1) Balfour Declaration.

    2) Agreement Between Emir Feisal Husseini and Dr. Weizman:

    3) American Proposal for Jewish Homeland, January 21, 1919:

    4) League of Nations resolution and Mandate for Palestine:!OpenDocument

    See Also: This is my Land:

    5) Charter of the United Nations; June 26, 1945: 1. Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements, made under Articles 77, 79, and 81, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties

    2. Paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be interpreted as giving grounds for delay or postponement of the negotiation and conclusion of agreements for placing mandated and other territories under the trusteeship system as provided for in Article 77.

    Jews have these rights according to International law, based on the above documents and agreements to settle wherever they wish in Jerusalem,Judea and Samaria, because it was given exclusively to the Jews for their sovereignty, to reconstitute the Jewish homeland, in the same way that Syria, Iraq, lebanon and Trans-Jordan were given for Arab sovereignty and self determination. These agreements remain binding today, and Arab determination and foreign interests to deny these truths in no way alter the legal status of Palestine.

    With all the above documentation why isn’t any Jewish international lawyer/s or Jewish law firm/s take this issue to a legal court in the US or Geneva and sue the UN for failing to fulfill its obligations under it own Charters?

    This will also stop all these politicians and Lefties from endlessly throwing at the State of Israel that we are “occupying Palestinian territories” and building illegal settlements in Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria.