Where are the Maps of Historic Muslim Palestine?

Jordan is a part of historic Israel, and the USA has the maps to prove it. They are lodged in the Golda Meir Library at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. They are owned by the American Geographic Society. I have seen them. They represent centuries of cartography, and nearly all of them include the Trans-Jordan (modern-day Jordan) as integral to the geographic dimensions of Biblical and post-biblical Israel. They are the second largest collection of historic maps of this specific geographic region assembled anywhere in the world. Only the Vatican, in Rome, has a larger collection. These maps prove, once and for all, that the modern-day state of Jordan is indeed an Arab state located in so-called “Palestine” (Israel by another name).

Where are the maps showing historic “Muslim Palestine” through the centuries? There simply aren’t any, because Muslims never recognized the name “Palestine” throughout their entire history. “Palestine” is the name given to Israel by the victorious Roman Empire (and later the Catholic Church) after defeating the rebellious Israelite-Jews in a war nearly two thousand years ago. Afterward, the vast majority of Israelite-Jews were punished by the Romans with exile from their homeland. “Palestine” is the European-Christian name given to the Land of the Jewish people by Europeans. Islam and Islamic people have nothing to do with this specific geographic entity other than to acknowledge its Jewish ownership through the context of the Muslims’ own Koranic declaration. In Muslim theology, of all the world’s lands, Israel’s Jewish ownership is the one specific exception to an eventual global Islamic patrimony.

Every legitimate nation has its particular history of maps, and Israel is no exception. Historic Israel (later to be renamed, against its will, as “Palestine”) has always maintained its geographic boundary to include the Trans-Jordan. Biblical Israel, diaspora Israel and Zionist Israel have all included the territory east of the Jordan River as their patrimony. This time span encompasses over thirty-five hundred years. The historical ownership deed to this specific land has been witnessed by three world religions and declared by tens of billions of people throughout history. In Islam the Prophet Mohammad, representing the speech of Allah, as documented in the Koran, declared the Jewish people as heirs to Israel (Koran 5:21). According to Islam, the Holy land of the Jews belongs to the Jews, just as the Holy Land of Muslim Arabia belongs to the Islamic faithful.

It is an affront to Islamic authority (Sunni or Shiite) to envision an historical epoch as free of Israel. In Christian and Muslim theological terminology, Israel and the Jewish people stand as a beacon to their own religious legitimacy. Without Israel, the events at Sinai become dislodged from the global historical context. Neither Jesus nor Mohammad can be perceived outside of the framework of a historical-religious context. That context is the Jewish people and the giving of the Divine Law at Sinai, the desert wanderings of the Jews and the establishment of the Land of Israel. All three Abrahamic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as faiths derived through the first Prophet, Abraham — are linked through these mega-events.

However in our modern era, with the birth of political Islam and anti-Israel Arab nationalism, the goal of the Arab-Palestinian National Movement (Hamas and the PLO) has been the elimination of Israel as an historic entity. They hope to do this by altering the dimensions of so-called “historic Palestine” through the exclusion of the Trans-Jordan. By re-framing the map of “Palestine” to included only the area west of the Jordan River, both Hamas and the PLO hope to diplomatically capture for themselves the vital strategic territories of Judea and Samaria, and thereby squeeze Israel into a Tel Aviv ghetto (only nine-miles wide). Anyone with even the most rudimentary military experience can easily understand their ulterior motivation.

It is time to eliminate this nefarious Palestinian geopolitical strategy once and for all. Jordan is a modern Arab state inhabiting the eastern section of historic Israel and Christian Palestine. If the PLO, Jordan, Egypt or Saudi Arabia disagree, they need to come forward with their own centuries-old collection of Muslim-Palestinian maps. In other words, if historic “Palestine” is a Muslim construction, stretching from the “Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea” (as the Arab propaganda mantra portrays) the so-called Muslims need to show us THEIR MAPS! If not, then they need to stop hiding from the Koran, the Christian Bible and Torah, and admit the truth: The historic Holy Land of the Jews already has a modern Arab state residing in it. It is a modern Arab state without a democratic government, but with a majority of citizens who identify their national origin as Palestinian. It is, of course, the modern Arab state called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

I urge the Israeli government, under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, to invite the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, to view the American Geographical Society’s maps of the Holy Land. This should be done as soon as possible. Golda Meir was Israel’s only female Prime Minister. The library housing the vital, world collection of Holy Land maps is located in Golda’s hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and named after her. The President of the United States should attest to the fact that there is an alternative to the PLO’s bogus geographic construction of historic “Muslim Palestine”. This alternative exists as the fundamental cartographic documentation to the true geographic history of the Jewish Holy Land, without challenge.

In other words, the PLO and its global media partners (CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, etc.) have been peddling a fake geographic narrative as to the very nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If there is to be a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli confrontation, the true dimensions of the Holy Land and the historic, geographic and theological accuracy of the conflict must be legitimately sorted out. It is time to think anew, and Prime Minister Netanyahu must either show the political courage of his true belief (that Jordan is a vital part of Israel-Palestine) or step aside.

The historic maps of Israel-Palestine prove that a West Bank Palestinian state is not a genuine two-state solution. Instead, this fallacious two-state concept is a huge canard wrapped in an untenable geographic reality. In fact, it is a three-state solution involving two naturally-linked Arab states (Palestine and Jordan) and one Jewish state. The PLO’s long-term goal is to absorb Jordan — either peacefully or by other means — then create Greater Palestine (from the Iraqi-Jordanian desert to the outskirts of Tel-Aviv). They envision an eventual radical, nuclear-armed Iranian-Palestinian eastern front.

This strategy, however, initially portrays the Palestinian National Movement as moderate and willing to settle for only 22% of historic “Muslim Palestine”. They say that they advocate for a peaceful demilitarized West Bank state, living quietly from the “river to the sea”. But Jordan is socially, economically and geographically an essential part of the true and historic Israel-Palestine. It is high time for Netanyahu to return to his pre-Oslo mode of thinking — Jordan must be an essential part of any peace plan or solution. There is simply no arguing with the historic and strategic maps.

In the long run, Israel without military control of the West Bank is doomed, and the Palestinian National Movement has long understood this strategic reality. Also, without an Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) Jordan will eventually be taken over by the worst elements of either political Islam or extreme secular Palestinian nationalism. The next four years will be crucial. The time to set a new agenda is during this Republican administration in Washington. The current governments of Israel and the US must expose the left-wing US Democrats as soft on Israeli geographic security, as they have been soft on Iranian regional hegemony.

It is also time for the King of Jordan to come forward and admit that his country is a part of historic Israel-Palestine. Maybe the king should be invited to the Golda Meir Library in Milwaukee, along with the president of the US and the prime minister of Israel. After all, his namesake (King Abdullah I) had a very crucial meeting with Golda Meir back in the late 1940s. Because without Jordanian participation in eventual final status peace negotiations, the true geographic nature of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will remain hidden. Without Jordan, the peace process will continue to remain stymied, and peace between Muslim and Jew unattainable. Jordan is the crucial missing element. Without input from the Hashemite authorities, the Gordian Knot which is the Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian triangle will never be untangled.

Israel will never give up military control of the strategic and religious territories demanded by Hamas and the PLO (the West Bank). When the Jewish people say “never again”, they mean it. Never again! Israel knows what Hamas and the PLO are up to. We are not fools, and we know the truth of our enemy’s murderous designs. War is not peace, and geography cannot be allowed to become a diplomatic toy in the hands of warlords. When the Palestinians are ready to talk true history, geography and theology, they need to reference their discussion with proper historic maps and the Koran itself (5:21).

About the Author
Steven Horowitz has been a farmer, journalist and teacher spanning the last 45 years. He resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. During the 1970's, he lived on kibbutz in Israel, where he worked as a shepherd and construction worker. In 1985, he was the winner of the Christian Science Monitor's Peace 2010 international essay contest. He was a contributing author to the book "How Peace came to the World" (MIT Press).