Palestinian Loss of Land Map – Media Deception or Incompetence?


A recent broadcast on MSNBC (October 16, 2015) displayed a map of alleged “Palestinian Loss of Land’ which is based on well-known Palestinian propaganda maps. Was this media deception or incompetence?

The host on the segment Kate Snow is heard stating that the mapshows historically the areas that used to be Palestine in 1946” that hasshrunk down to basically Gaza and the West Bank” and that “the area where Palestinians are living has been growing increasingly smaller“. Theexpert‘, appearing with Snow,  Martin Fletcher is heard saying “absolutely, this is what it’s all about, it’s all about the land and it’s pretty shocking when you present that way“.

Both the map and the narration are inaccurate at best or deliberately deceptive, at worst.

The Jews continue to be portrayed by the media as ‘land-grabbers’ and the ‘Palestinian’ Arabs as ‘victims’ and most people who read about it or hear about on TV, simply accept it as portrayed. This is both naive and dangerous. Without people stopping to consider what they are being told to believe by any group and assessing whether it is true or not, allows governments or leaders or groups of people to act without accountability. How do you think any totalitarian regime took power during periods of democracy within the past hundred years? Think of the Bolsheviks in Russia, Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in Germany; all of these men took power during times of democracy when the masses were complacent and apathetic when it came to political affairs. By the time citizens realized there was a problem, it was far too late.” 

The map MSNBC aired is commonly referred to as the “shrinking Palestine map”.  Here is just one of many that can be found on any pro-Palestinian site;



Let’s show the map that MSNBC showed again;



Look at the “shrinking Palestine map” above. The MSNBC map looks familiar, doesn’t it?

Here is the transcript beginning at the 0:47 mark of the show. The bold text was added;

HOST: Another bit of history to remember. If you look at the map, we have a map that shows historically the areas that used to be Palestine in 1946, and then the UN Plan there, and then as it shrunk down to basically Gaza and the West Bank, right, and then at present. And so what does that show you Martin, that the area where Palestinians are living has been growing increasingly smaller?

GUEST: Well absolutely. But this is what it’s all about. It’s all about the land. And what this map shows you — plus it’s 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. Although right now there is a freeze on settlements by Israel, because there’s so much international pressure, the Palestinians say “If we don’t have peace soon, then we won’t have a Palestine left.”

HOST: And the Israelis say, “we have every right to be in all of those areas.”

GUEST: Well, the Israelis say, “Look, you know, this is our land, too, and we’re Jews, and we have the right to live anywhere, same as anyone else in the world. We should be able to live anywhere we like. And it’s hard to argue about, except it’s taking the land of a future Palestinian state. Which that’s what the frustration and the violence is all about for the most part — the occupation of their land.


Let’s look at that map, frame by frame, and correct the errors;

There have 3 places bearing that name, none of them ever belonging to Arabs.

  1. The first was under the rule of the Romans(Syria Palaestina, 135-390 AD)
  2. A second was a province of the Byzantine Empire(Palestina Secunda or Palestina II – 390 AD)
  3. the third was a territory under British Administration (Mandate for Palestine,1920-1948) carved out of Ottoman Southern Syria after World War I.

Frame 1 of the MSNBC map is a map of the British Mandate for Palestine.

frame 1, from MSNBC map

The firstArab-Palestinian state was created by the British when they divided the Mandate for Palestine to create Transjordan (later renamed Jordan) by giving 75% of the land of the Mandate for Palestine to the Arabs, specifically excluding it from Jewish settlement and setting aside the remaining 25% as the Jewish homeland (which is the area labeled “Palestine” in the first frame of the MSNBC, which we have labelled “frame 1”).

Below, in green is a map of that first Palestinian Arab state.




frame 2 from MSNBC map

The borders shown in this map never existed. What this map shows is the 1947 UN Partition Plan of November 29, 1947 [Resolution 181(11)].

The 1947 Partition Plan proposed a secondArab-Palestinian state and was set out under Resolution 181 in November 1947.  This would have been where the remaining 25% of the former Mandate for Palestine designated as the Jewish homeland would have been partitioned into more two states (again); one Arab and the other for the Jewish homeland.

This proposed secondArab Palestinian state was to receive 43% of the land set aside by the British for the Jewish homeland.  The Jews accepted the Partition Plan but the Arabs refused it.

These borders never existed.

frame 3 from MSNBC map

Frame 3 actually shows a map of Israel between 1949 and 1967.

The areas in green were illegally occupied by Jordan and Egypt which they seized from Israel during the 1948 War of Independence which they started a day after Israel declared statehood on May 14, 1948.

Jordan annexed Jerusalem and occupied Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) until 1967 when Israel liberated it.

Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip between 1948 June 1967.

frame 4 from the MSNBC map

The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas controls all of Gaza which has been “Jew-free” since 2005, when Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon exchanged “land for peace” – a peace Israel has not known. Since the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza >11,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israeli cities.

Parts of the “West Bank” fall under the Oslo accords and are controlled by the Palestinian Authority.  In his recent speech at the UN on September 30 2015, Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas asserted that the Palestinians are no longer bound to the Oslo Accords.

MSNBC’s airing of this set of maps is either deliberate deception or journalistic incompetence.

This is a breach of trust between the network and the public and should cause the public to question the credibility of any segments discussing the political situation in Israel broadcast on this network.