Wiping Palestine Off the Map and Out of Mind

Israel supporters are all aflutter over a map of Palestine from Arab Bank which they claim is trying to wipe Israel off the map. This is the ‘offensive’ poster on ‘Pal Watch’ homepage:

Pal Media Watch Homepage

Pal Media Watch Homepage

Oddly enough, Pal Watch (notorious for their anti-Palestine rhetoric) is silent over the Go Israel Ministry of Tourism website’s maps of Israel that does not include Palestine with even so much as 1967 borders. The Israeli news source Haaretz even ran a story on the issue in 2010 but the map is still unchanged.

Israel Ministry of Tourism Map without Palestine

Israel Ministry of Tourism Map without Palestine

Unfortunately this goes well beyond a misrepresentation on a map. A study by Nurit Peled-Elhanan details how Israel is in fact wiping Palestine off the map not vice versa.
He explains:

‘Palestinians, both citizens and those who live under occupation, are never presented as modern, industrious individuals but always stereotypically, in racist vocabulary and racist visuals, as terrorists, as a demographic problem or as third-world ‘Oxfam Images’ of primitive farmers (Hicks 1980), namely as a developmental burden. Their “inferiority” is presented as a natural condition or their ‘lot’ and their misfortunes are either a “tragedy”, an act of fate, or their own doing.Their tradition is made to signify “backwardness”, and their discrimination is represented as a national necessity.’

    Let that sink in: ‘their discrimination is represented as a national necessity’.

Many times, perhaps even daily, I have debates with Israel-supporters who refer to non-Jews in Israel by using the generic hyperonym ‘Arabs’! Many refuse to acknowledge we are many ethnicities and religions i.e, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Bedouins and Cirkassians, This has been dubbed by Van Leeuwen (1996:46) as genericisation and along with impersonalisation are characteristics of racist discourse. Sadly I think this makes it easier for Israel-supporters to justify the atrocities we have endured for 65 years.

Van Dijk elaborates by stating “Dominance, differentiation, diffusion, diversion, impersonalisation , destruction, and daily discrimination […] serve in various ways to legitimate and enact the distinction of the “other” […] by dominating the minority groups, by excluding them from social activities and even by destroying and murdering them”(Quoted in: RW 2001: 21).”

    So I ask: who is really being wiped off the map?

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