Map Sequence "Palestinian Loss of Land"

This four-part map sequence is used in at least one section of World History II (10th grade) at Newton North High School and in David Bedar's "The Middle East, Asia, and Latin America" class at the same school. The map sequence, which purports to show the shrinkage in “Palestinian” land from between 1946 and 2010, is identical to a map sequence on the website of the Palestine National Council, the policy-making branch of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) titled "Palestinian Loss of Land 1946-2010". (Note: link to the map sequence on the PLO websites redirects and is slow to load; please be patient).

The map sequence presented to students gives no indication that it was created or endorsed by the PLO; nor does the notation - which is present on the maps on the PLO website - that they are not drawn to scale appear. The result is that students are provided with and use a series of maps representing the point of view of the PLO - a terror organization - which gives no indication of its bias, no indication that the map is inaccurate, and no indication that other maps contest the PLO's claims.

The ADL and other organizations have spoken out about this and similar maps and map sequences, which appeared in advertisements on subways and train stations. it calls "deliberately misleading and biased" and "intentionally designed to deceive the public".

Informing students verbally of the map sequence's origination and bias - even if it occurs - cannot compensate for the deceptive omissions. There is no guarantee that teachers will repeat any caveats they are expected to provide, nor is there any guarantee that students will actually pay attention to or remember them. A verbal warning about the inaccuracies inherent in the map sequence has the same effect as a purported oral contract - it's as worthless as the paper it's (not) on.

Another indication that the use of the map sequence is not an accident, but an actual attempt to deceive is the lack of any countering examples. A 2013 article about the map sequence gives at least seven examples of maps countering those provided to students. None of those maps or any other form of countervailing information is provided; instead, students are left with the impression that the maps are factual.