Finnish matriculation exam used debunked Palestinian propaganda map

The image of the four maps has widely been debunked as misleading and deceptive.

Debunked Palestinian map on a Finnish high school matriculation exam (photo credit: screenshot)
Debunked Palestinian map on a Finnish high school matriculation exam
(photo credit: screenshot)
Materials apparently taken from pro-BDS, anti-Israel organizations were included in a Finnish high school history matriculation exam this September.
In particular, a widely used image amongst anti-Israel groups of four supposedly historical maps of Israel and Mandate Palestine designed as an attempt to demonstrate the supposed seizure of private land from Palestinian Arabs by the Zionist movement and the State of Israel is used as the starting point for questions on the history of the region.
The image of the four maps has widely been debunked as misleading and deceptive, since it purposefully conflates private land ownership with political borders, and also conceals Arab land ownership within the modern State of Israel.
Nevertheless, the autumn examinations in the Finnish high school system presented the maps as factual, describing them as depicting “the Jewish and Palestinian settlements in Palestine in 1946, adding, the areas in green are Palestinian and the area in white is Jewish (since 1949 the State of Israel).”
On the same theme, the digital exam paper also presented a YouTube video of a speech by former US secretary of state John Kerry where he refers to “settlement expansion and the seemingly endless occupation,” as reasons for the absence of peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the increasingly likelihood of a “one-state solution.”
The exam paper then posed a series of questions based on the misleading maps and Kerry’s speech, including to “List the changes in the Palestinian Territory shown in the table and in the map series, and explain the reasons for the changes.”
Although at first glance the maps seem to indicate a massive appropriation of private Arab land by the Zionist movement and the State of Israel, the maps are a highly distorted and purposefully obscured representation of land ownership, demographics and political realities in the region.
The original provenance of the map is unclear, although it has been promoted by the UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign, whose representatives have met with Hamas officials in Gaza in the past, and were also on the Mavi Marmara ship that sought to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
Finnish MP Peter Östman of the center-right Christian Democrats Party, together with Finland-Israel Friendship Association chairman Risto Huvila, recently submitted a letter to the government signed by ten MPs asking how the materials came to be included in a state exam.
The first map shows land owned by the Jewish National Fund Jewish in 1946, but represents it as all the Jewish-owned land in Mandate Palestine at the time, and seeks to represent every other part of the map as Palestinian-owned land.
Land ownership in Mandate Palestine was very patchy, and the maps’ representation of all land other than the small pockets of JNF-acquired land as private land owned by Palestinian Arabs is highly inaccurate.
The second map shows the UN 1947 partition plan, with less land allocated towards the Palestinians than what was purported to be private Palestinian land in the first map, implying the confiscation or occupation of the purportedly Palestinian land.
The third map shows the post-1967 borders after Israel took control of the West Bank following the Jordanian invasion in the Six Day War, while the fourth map shows Areas A and B of the West Bank as designated in the Oslo accords, which, while smaller than the whole territory of the West Bank, was supposed to have been an interim situation before a final status agreement.