BBC Errs with Perplexing ‘Palestine’ Map


A News feature published Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023 by the BBC focusing on the period of the British and French Mandates in the Middle East has triggered criticism over the BBC’s attempts to play into a Palestinian narrative.

In “The Lives Upended by Colonial Rule in the Middle East” written by BBC correspondent Tom Bateman, a whole paragraph besides a mystifying map were devoted to dragging readers’ attention to how the French Mandate “hived off Lebanon from Syria” to create a strategic beachhead and how such hiving created new boundaries over the whole territory in the early 1920s.

During this period, on the walk of the Ottoman Empire, Palestine and Transjordan were actually one land constituting the southern area of the Levant region, not ever split by borders except for that created under the 1917 Balfour Declaration by the auspices of the British Mandate when Palestine was hived off to create a homeland for Jewish people, the fact the map has failed to demonstrate.

Critics deemed this map a distortion and deliberate attempt to erase the genuine history of the entire region, revealing that pre-1921, the entirety of the area that covers both sides of the Jordan River was a single entity and that Britain designated the land east of the river as the Emirate of Transjordan, under the leadership of Emir Abdullah bin Hussein, just eight months after the San Remo Conference in 1920.

BBC Errs with Perplexing ‘Palestine’ Map
BBC Errs with Perplexing ‘Palestine’ Map

Transjordan had semi-autonomy, from 1923, with Britain taking over all its financial, military and foreign affairs. It was only in 1946 that Transjordan actually gained independence from Britain and became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Its military remained under British command, however.

Likewise, the name “Palestine” chosen for the land west of the river was derived from “Palestina” which was given to the country by the Roman Empire in the second century CE, and it is, Palestine, only a fraction of the land that was originally part of Mandatory Palestine.

The map ignored the fact that most of the area was given to Arabs some twenty years before the United Nations voted to partition the land again into two states.

Such a misleading map and the conclusions derived from it serve only a narrative that goes against that of the Palestinians and Arabs, the matter that exposes the BBC’s policy of reporting. For years, the BBC can’t stop showing its bias towards the Israeli narrative, denying crystal clear facts about Israel’s atrocities since the Nakba in 1948.

In answer to “what is happening between Israelis and Palestinians”, the BBC ignores the Israeli occupation of Palestine and only feeds its narrative with Palestinian “attacks” on Israelis, turning a blind eye to Palestinians killed by the Israeli army and settlers, the siege of Gaza and the closure of Al Aqsa to Palestinians during Jewish holidays.

Furthermore, the BBC’s reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict usually attaches much focus on the far fewer attacks carried out against Israelis rather than shedding light on the murder of hundreds of Palestinians, including children, by Israeli forces and the massive destruction caused to dozens of cilivilans’ houses.

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