Poll: Should Chappaqua Train Station Ad About Israel Come Down?

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Several officials have called for the removal of an Israel/Palestine billboard at the Chappaqua Train Station.
Several officials have called for the removal of an Israel/Palestine billboard at the Chappaqua Train Station. Photo Credit: Brian Marschhauser
Commuters at the station have seemingly offered some "feedback" for the billboards.
Commuters at the station have seemingly offered some "feedback" for the billboards. Photo Credit: Brian Marschhauser

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – A billboard titled "Palestinian Loss of Land - 1946 to 2010" has received no shortage of feedback since it was put up at the Chappaqua Train Station last week.


Should the billboard be removed from the Chappaqua Train Station?

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Should the billboard be removed from the Chappaqua Train Station?

  • Yes

  • No

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Assembly member Robert Castelli (R, C - Goldens Bridge) was quick to call the billboard "anti-Israeli" and asked Metro-North President Howard Permut to remove it immediately.

"I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment right of free speech in the Constitution, and certainly a proponent that the people of Israel and Palestine should live in harmony together," Castelli said. "However, the subliminal message that this particular billboard carries is an anti-Israeli message that I believe has just the opposite effect of creating peace and harmony between the Israeli and Palestinian people." 

The billboard features four maps of Palestine/Israel from 1946 through 2010 and appears to showcase the expansion of Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. The billboard is sponsored by Henry Clifford, who co-chairs the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine (COPIP). The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the billboard is "deliberately misleading and biased." 

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely complex and cannot be summarized in a series of four maps," said Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director in a statement.

Clifford, who paid $25,000 for the billboards, told Fox News that “there’s always room for discussion of different sides of every story, but there’s no room for discussion on fact. Anyone who challenges these maps and the content of these ads, it’s their obligation to show that they’re historically wrong. The ball is in their court.”

Commuters at the station have seemingly offered some "feedback" for the billboards. On Monday morning, foul language was hand-written and stamped onto the ad. 

Resident Deb Raider Notis believes the advertisement should be removed: "It is inciteful and could encourage hate crimes," she said.

Join the conversation in the comments section below, at The Chappaqua Daily Voice's Facebook Page, or tweet us @ChappaquaDV.

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Comments (52)

That was before, we call it a mass migration of refugees, now still there is but most of them surely not called refugees, they could be more of terrorist. Change the banner and get it from http://www.digiteksf.com/digital-color-copies/ and have the idealistic campaign that lets people know more whoever knocks on their door, it could be their enemies.

With all due respect, the billboard maps don't show how many Palestinians now live as Israeli Arabs. It would also help if there were a timeline to show historical perspective of how and why the maps changed over time. If this group who sponsered the ad wants to make a fair statement it should stick to citing historical fact.

It would not be a subliminal message against Israel if Jews in U.S. would put pressure on the Israeli government to follow all the U.N. rules and take all settlements out of Palestinian occupied land. As well as putting pressure on Israeli government to stop occupation. Occupation is a terrible indignity to a whole people. Many Jews do not want the things done by the Israeli government to be done in the name of all Jews, so people must speak up and put pressure on the Israeli government to start changing and becoming the democracy they claim to be. As long as only Jews have full rights of citizenship in Israel, it will not be a democracy.

Foul Smell: Treating Gaza's Wastewater under Israeli Blockade
This video was produced by the Thirsting for Justice Campaign ambassadors (Palestinian youth living in the Gaza Strip). The Thirsting for Justice Campaign de

Go to the link to see just one of Israel's many war crimes and the reason why many in our world are involved in ending this tragic injustice.

It may already be on this board and I cannot remember the exact Voltaire quote, but to paraphrase him: If you want to know who controls you, find out who you cannot criticize,

Excuse me Voltaire, but I expect that you say it so much more eloquently.

Thank you so much Mr. Clifford and all the brave principled people unafraid to stand up to the bullying tactics of the powerful Zionist lobby group. Like those wonderful people who stood tall against slavery and South African apartheid you will be remembered with fondness and pride. Unlike those cruel bigots that think it is acceptable for a state like Israel to oppress the indigenous people it brutally occupies. Israel has already lost the PR war as too many people worldwide know about it's war crimes.More decent people each day around our world join the struggle to end Israeli crimes, as we did to end apartheid in South Africa. Decency, humanity and international law matter; thank you everyone involved in this brave principled action.

Patricia, it would be great if you could admire the people who stood tall against slavery and apartheid, and not confuse them with the Muslims who still practice slavery in the 21st century, oppress women ruthlessly and have apartheid societies that would make South Africa seem liberal. Your values are admirable but you are being played for a fool by people who don't share your values for a minute. Your good intentions are being used to further evil ends. That's the simple truth.

Did you know that women can't drive in Saudi Arabia? that under Shariah law a woman who is raped needs four adult male witnesses or else can't press charges? that homosexuality and adultery and pre-marital sex are punishable by death? That a Palestinian who sells a house to a Jew is put to death? If you're looking for apartheid and vicious intolerance, look no further than the territories under Palestinian control.

Israel is a society where Jews and Arabs are treated in the same hospitals, work together and go to school together. Black Africans have crossed Sudan and Egypt to seek refuge in Israel which is the only country where they they are treated decently. How can anyone describe Israel an apartheid society who isn't a hateful liar? Read a speech delivered at the Durban Conference by Simon Deng, a black African slave who escaped from his Sudanese captors and took shelter in Israel: http://www.standwithus.com/app/inews/view_n.asp?ID=2074

If you want to be a true progressive, learn the truth and then educate your friends.

We must never stoop lower than others just because they are not perfect.


If you " If you want to be a true progressive, learn the truth and then educate your friends" try this link to an Israeli who sees first hand Israeli apartheid and all it's brutality

Oh, and if you follow this link you will find decent human beings in our world, as far afield as Australia, working to end Israel's international crimes.

What has Saudi Arabia got to do with Israel's occupation of the indigenous Palestinians? Oh yes, some of the Palestinians are Muslim; surely you do not treat all Muslims- millions of human beings in our beautiful world- equally; that would be bigotry. In any case, you are obviously unaware that Palestinians are not just one religion and all religions are treated equally- unlike in the bigoted Israel where people are treated as either Jew or non-Jew. Palestinians are Muslim, Christian, agnostic, atheist and Jew- you should read Dr, Uri Davis's book ( he describes himself as a Palestinian Jew), "Apartheid Israel. You are so very wrong about equality in Israel. There are 4 classess of citizenship there and only class A, Jews, are allowed to live and work where they want- read "Apartheid Israel" to find out more. Class B,C, and D ( non Jews) are restricted, class D not allowed back into their country.
In 1948 ALL RELIGIONS, lived together in Palestine; the European Jews came and began the aprartheid system of Jew and non-Jew.
I suspect you have never been to the Middle East; have you llived outside the US? I have friends from all religions; many Jewish people are against Israel's crimes. My Muslim friends are the same as all human beings- to say otherwise is bigotry- something the US does very well. Early in the morning here, but Lord, it is hard not to respond straight away to such nonsense.

The issue here is not free speech. This issue is whether deliberate misrepresentation and libel should be allowed when it's only goal is to incite hatred against the Jews. In the 1930s Hitler made speech after speech blaming all of Germany's problems on the Jews and urging their destruction. He succeeded in stirring up enough blind hatred among the ignorant masses that millions of innocent people were slaughtered. Should his right to incite genocidal hatred be defended as "free speech"?

The ghost of Nazism is not dead. It lives in these posters. It lives in the BDS campaigns. The Jew-haters are once again at work. This is a sickness that warps people's minds and, sad to say, it is spreading once again. Today it's not okay to simply hate the Jews; you have to hide it behind criticism of "Zionism". There is only one country in the Middle East where Jews have not been mistreated, and that is Israel. EVERYWHERE else (from Morocco to Iran) they were forced to leave their homes and their homes and belongings were confiscated. Jew-haters pretend to be for justice, but all they want is the death and destruction of Israel and its people.

If you are a progressive person concerned with civil liberties and justice for minorities, don't let yourself be used by these sleeze peddlers who pretend to represent your values. They are totalitarian thugs who hate American values, despise the truth and lie without shame. Ask yourself: why are all these people so obsessively focused on Israel's "crimes" when thousands are being murdered in Syria? Answer: because they hate Jews and really don't give a damn about human rights. Don't let these sickos suck you in to their hate campaigns.

This has nothing to do with Jewishness; many Jewish people around our world are against Israel's crimes. Israeli's could be Hindu, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish- their religion is not the issue; their crimes are the issue. If you cannot deal with the crimes- too many to name, but the use of white phosphorus bombs against over a million human beings is just one- then stop using the silly cowardly shield of their religion; it is irrelevant.
Please check "Jews against the occupation", "Women in Black", "Gush Shalom", Ilan Pappe and oh so many many more Jewish people who condemn Israel's crimes. Israel is a state; Jewishness is a religion. And, God is not a real estate agent.

The ADL, an organization dedicated primarily to defaming everyone who disagrees with Israel as "anti-semitic" says "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely complex and cannot be summarized in a series of four maps." This is exactly what they want you to believe, that I-P is hopelessly complex, an ancient blood feud, contending sides, with contending stories. None of it is true: It is a simple result of modern (not ancient) history and there is only one aggressor.

The maps have the virtue of simplifying everything and they tell the story very well indeed. Once one "gets over" the virus of "complexity." the truth (as always) is pretty simple. European imperialists of a Jewish persuasion invented land rights to Palestine based upon scripture (which they wrote!) and nothing else. These people slowly settled the area and then pushed out the indigenous people and these Zionists have been busy every since grabbing other people's property and rights: The maps tell this story very well. The Zionist will now claim the remaining 22% of old Palestine, the West Bank, if the world allows it.

A map can't be anti-semitic any more than a bike or a table can be. People want it removed because it tells the truth directly in a manner easily grasped. And it is about time.

I agree wholeheartedly and think is constantly needs to be said that the most antisemitic nation in our world today is Israel., It is persecuting a real Semitic people, the native indigenous Palestinians. Unlike the Jewish people that come from North America, Europe and Russia, the Palestinians are a Semitic people.The land thieves committing international crimes against the Palestinians are not Semitic; they are Slav and Anglo.The old chestnut of "antisemitism" being thrown at people who criticize a state committing war crimes is just plain silly.

Boy, there is no end to your dislike of Jews and Israel. Perhaps you should read about who invented Mohammed and the Koran (Did Mohammed Exist? by Robert Spencer) to give you some perspective on the Arabs and Muslims and how much they can be believed. There was never a "Palestinian" Arab nation with its own country; there were only Arabs living throughout what was known as Greater Syria from the time the area was colonized by Arabs ( from Arabia) from about the 8th century A.D. On the other hand, there were always Jews living in Palestine, the name that the Romans gave to Judaea and Samaria after they conquered it in about 70 A.D., adding insult to injury to the Jews they had conquered. The name "Palestine" comes from the name of the Philistines, who had died out about 6 centuries before the Roman conquest. In fact, there was always a majority of Jews in Jerusalem until 1948, when the relatively new country of Jordan conquered it and took it over, along with the West Bank (the Judaean Hills and the Jordan Valley), expelling all the Jews. The Jews (now Israelis) liberated that land in the 1967 war, and later started resettling Jews there, being, in general, quite careful not to oust the Arabs who had been living in various towns there since the Ottoman Empire. In short, most of the so- called Palestinians were relative latecomers to the land of the Jews. As for the Arab identity of the Palestinians, that did not come about until Yasser Arafat, himself an Egytian, cynically decided, in 1972, to call the odd lot of assorted Arabs in the then disputed
territories Palestinians, so that he could be their leader and extort huge amounts of money from the West. BTW, up until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, everyone living in Palestine was considered Palestinian under the British Mandate--including Jews, Christians and Muslims. They were not, however, citizens of a state, but rather inhabitants of British Mandated Palestine.

I can't vouch for the accuracy of either side of this argument in regard to the map. However, if you want to remove billboards since someone debates their truthfulness or if someone is offended, be my guest. But, you should vet every billboard by the same test. New and Improved Crest- gets teeth whiter. Prove it. Since there is always that one dentist, one out of four who disagrees, you must talk to him or her also. Wait till election season, all that both sides say are lies and the oppositioin will obviously disagree.

I don't mean to offend anyone here and since I don't have a dog in this fight- I have no opinion either way. However, as an outside observer, it seems that there is only one side reported when it comes to Isreali-Palestinian issues and when the one side is challenged, it seeks to remove all criticism.

There is nothing less than a MASSIVE campaign to keep the truth about Israel/Palestine from the American people. It's conducted on the internet by Israel's professionally trained agitprops and sayanim..by highly organized Jewish PR support groups in our communities..and of course the "news" media which Jews own in its entirety. It's primary aim is to assure our governments policy of carte blanche towards Israel and keeps the billions of American taxpayer dollars flowing into Israel. If Americans were aware of the brutality of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians they would be OUTRAGED to know their taxes subsidize it. Wake up America...

I'd like to add that concerned Americans can view this brutality on YouTube by searching;
"Meet the Israeli settlers", or "Jewish settlers shoot Palestinians as Israeli soldiers stand idle", or "Israeli Soldiers Attack Female Humanitarian Activists ", or "Jew Settlers Stoning Palestine Christian Children walking to school", or "Settlers attack Palestinian Shepherds". It is an endless depiction of Israeli Zionist racism and violence.

Do you believe all the doctored photographs you see and fabricated stories you hear? Or do you ever wonder whether Israeli actions might be retaliation for horrifying acts of brutality by the Palestinian Arabs? The media tend to be very sympathetic to whoever they perceive ( often wrongly) to be the underdog--in this case the Palestinan Arabs. You have only to read about the bloody massacre of 5 members of a Jewish family in the town of Itamar--including an infant and a toddler-- to see what the Palestinains are capable of, and have done more than once, not in retaliation for anything but simply because the people they were killing we're Jews, and therefore worthy of death. (Check your Koran for the precedent)

These Palestine advocacy ads have a tendency to encourage boycotts and divestment against Israel.

That happened at Wayne State University, where a total divestment resolution was approved by the student council: http://tinyurl.com/85r6um2

Right now, a "Boycott Israel" bus advertisement has caused controversy in Michigan. See the news article entitled "American Civil Liberties Union files lawsuit against AATA for refusal to run anti-Israel ad", on the Web at http://heritage.com/articles/2011/12/01/ann_arbor_journal/news/doc4ed79e59bacdb664554042.txt

Yes, it's a controversy.

But if free speech is limited to non-controversial topics, then it isn't free anymore, is it?

Free speech is no protected from lawsuit if it is lies.

These maps are deceptive trash designed to incite hatred against Israel. Anyone who knows Middle East history immediately sees how phony they are. There never was a Palestinian state that in any way resembled what the first panel shows. That territory was under the control of the Ottoman Empire until WWI. Gaza was under the control of Egypt; the West Bank was under the control of Jordan. It's all just BS designed to make you think that the Jews are aggressors and the Palestinians are innocent victims, like the Native Americans during the age of colonialism.

Nothing could be further from the truth: the Jews are the indigenous peoples who have returned to their homeland from which they were exiled by the Romans. The Arabs are invaders from Saudi Arabia who enslaved North Africa and much of Asia all the way to Indonesia. It drives them crazy that they have not been able to destroy Israel even though they have tried three times. The Jews in Israel are standing up for their right to live on a tiny sliver of land the size of Rhode Island. The Arabs are using propaganda to stir up hatred around the world since their armies haven't been able to execute a successful genocide. And sadly enough, there is no shortage of fools in the West who buy into it. Here's a picture that shows the situation as it really is without the BS:

Thank you Vivarto. Wish you could have explained that to British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour who in 1917 issued his declaration reflecting the position of the British Cabinet to establish a Jewish National home in PALESTINE. This was at the request for a Jewish homeland in PALESTINE made by the World Zionist Organization in exchange for their rescue of Britain in WWI. Accordingly, the League of Nations mandate following WWI specified establishment of a Jewish homeland in PALESTINE, and two decades earlier in 1901 the Jewish national Fund was established to acquire land for Jewish use only in PALESTINE. Years later, of course, Golda Meir proclaimed that there were no such people as Palestinians. If so, who lived in PALESTINE, the Cherokees? (Meir later admitted to Alan Hart that this had been the stupidest thing she ever said.) Of course, PALESTINE had been part of the Ottoman Empire during the period when nation states were established in Europe and it never had a chance to become a formal nation due to Zionist manipulation in the UN followed by ethnic cleansing in 1948, but it had been a recognized region and culture for many centuries, a fertile region and breadbasket of the Arab world. It was the Jewish Zionists, not the Ottomans or the British who brutally expelled the indigenous population of Palestine from 530 villages and 11 cities, committing 33 massacres at the time. And it is Zionist Jews of Israel (and their US supporters) who are blocking the right of return for the Palestinian refugees.

Like you, I don't know about those "Jewish cowards (who) ally themselves with the genocidal enemies of the Jewish people" - Jewish "cowards" like Holocaust Survivor, co-author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Stéphane Hessel who supports the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement ( http://www.bdsmovement.net/) or Miko Peled, Israeli general Mattie Peled's son who advocates a single, democratic state. I'm guessing Jewish Auschwitz survivor, Dr. Hajo Meyer is correct in stating that "Formerly an anti-Semite was someone who hated Jews…nowadays an anti-Semite is somebody who is hated by Jews.”

Wow! You really know nothing about the name Palestine. Some of the history of the name Palestine is covered by my response to DavidWavey.5 above. But just to summarize, Palestine was the name given to Judaea and Samaria by the Romans after they had conquered the Jews of the area in About 70 A.D. There was never a sovereign nation of Palestinians, and Arabs, who did NOT inhabit the region until they started colonizing it after he rise of Islam in about the 8th century A.D., referred to themselves as Arabs. In any case, there were not a whole lot of Arabs attracted to the area of Palestine after the first ones had deforested it and left it desertified. It was not until the late 19th and early 20th century, when European Jews began returning to the land of their ancestors and draining the malarial swamps, reforesting the hills, and turning the desert onto a garden, that Arabs started re-colonizing the land in arge numbers (And no, the European Jews were not of European or Caucasian descent; they were real descendants of the Jews of Judaea and Samaria of 2000 years ago, as proven by genomic analysis.). Those Arabs did not refer to themselves as Palestinians, either, and they came because the land had suddenly become more fertile and attractive. Rather than appreciating the accomplishments of the Jews, they referred to the teachings of the Koran and indulged in occasional massacres of Jews. See above for the rest of the story, or read some decent, unbiased histories of the area.

For perspective see this map of various empires in the Middle East:


Jews didn't return to their ancestral lands, as those "returning weren't Semitic Jews. They were mostly European converts to Judaism. For argumen't sake, let us assume that all WERE Semitic Jewish descendants though. About seventy years after Roman troops annihilated and dispersed Jews from Jerusalem in 70 AD, another rebellion on the other end of the Roman Empire took place. This time Roman soldiers annihilated and dispersed Welsh rebels. Does this fact now give modern Welsh people license to gather from all over the world, assemble an army and purge Wales of all but Welsh people who now live there?

Palestine did indeed exist, and it is ancient: "The Hebrew name Peleshet (פלשת Pəlésheth) – usually translated as Philistia in English, is used in the Bible more than 250 times. The Greek word Palaistinē (Παλαιστίνη, "Palaistine") is generally accepted to be a translation of the Semitic name for Philistia; however another term – land of the Philistieim (γῆ τῶν Φυλιστιεἰμ , transliteration from Hebrew) – was used in the Septuagint, the second century BCE Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, to refer to Philistia.[27] In the Torah / Pentateuch the term Philistia is used 10 times and its boundaries are undefined. The later Historical books (see Deuteronomistic history) include most of the biblical references, almost 200 of which are in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel, where the term is used to denote the southern coastal region to the west of the ancient Kingdom of Judah.[12][13][22][28]


and one can find numerous pre-Israeli photos of Palestinian at this site:


More than 500 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed or purged in 1948 to make way for Israel's illicit unilateral declaration of statehood. Three quarters of a million virtually unarmed (by British forces) people were driven away or fled for their lives as marauding Israeli terrorist forces stormed the land.


The goal of many of Israel's victims isn't to destroy Israeli people, but to destroy the racist Zionist Project. There is a huge difference.

Philistia, or P'leshet, was the land of the Philistines, who died out about 600 B.C.. P'leshet itself was only a small section of what is now Israel, comprising a bit more than modern-day Gaza. It doesn't matter how many times the name is repeated in the Bible, the Philistia of pre-Roman days is not the same as the Palestine of post-Roman times. The name Palestine was bestowed upon Judaea and Samaria by the Romans, as a further insult to the Jews whom they had conquered. And btw, the Romans did not exile all of the Jews from the area; there have been Jews living in parts of Israel since Biblical times. As for the heredity of the Jews, recent DNA analyses show that both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews are almost entirely genetically identical to the original Jews of Judaea and the Middle East. There were relatively few intermarriages and and conversions to Judaism.

If you have ever read the Hamas Charter or the PLO charter, you would see that the aim of the Palestinians is to wipe out the State of Israel, not just those Pesky Zionists, but all of the Jews who live there. They would replace it with a Palestinian state that would necessarily be free of Jews. As for the number of Arab towns that the Jews supposedly destroyed during the War of Independence in 1948, I don't know where you got your numbers but they are wrong, it was more like 5 than 500, and even that number was only because the inhabitants were firing on and throwing bombs at the Jewish fighters. Try reading some accurate histories of that war, not the fairy tales fabricated by Friends of Palestine, or whatever. (Remember that the Arab leader, the Mufti of Jerusalem spent WW2 as a guest of Hitler in Germany, and shared with him a hatred of the Jews and a desire to wipe them off the face of the earth.)

(P.S. I would advise not using Wikipedia as your primary reference material. It is only as accurate and unbiased as the people who contribute to it.)

David, your phony display of erudition may dazzle the dopes, but no number of references to bogus sites can change the facts of history. There is no Palestinian literature, there is no Palestinian art, there are no references to the Palestinian people in ANY history books written before the 20th century. The Palestinians are no more and no less than Arabs who migrated to Israel mainly after the Jewish immigrants arrived in the late 19th century and developed the irrigation and agriculture and infrastructure to support human life. All references to the land of Israel by travelers in the early 19th century refer to it as a desolate and uninhabited land. NO ONE describes a thriving Palestinian civilization. The only references to Palestine and the Palestinians that one finds pre-1947 actually refer to the Jews living in Israel, e.g, the newspaper "The Jerusalem Post" formerly known as "The Palestinian Post" which was the main newspaper for the pre-Israeli Jewish community. The Palestinians are indeed an "invented people", aided and abetted by anti-semites who pervert scholarship to support their destructive agenda.

If you had a bit of decency or fairness, you would acknowledge that the Jews accepted the partition of the land, and the Arabs refused and went to war instead. Israel's "illicit unilateral declaration of statehood" was no more than an acceptance of what they were offered by the United Nations. Their declaration of statehood was immediately supported by the United States. Americans know that Israel is a friend and ally, and only the ignorant rabble in this country, and phony "intellectuals" like yourself pretend otherwise.

Will James

Your rants only demonstrate appalling and inexcusable ignorance.

You write: “The Palestinians are no more and no less than Arabs who migrated to Israel mainly after the Jewish immigrants arrived in the late 19th century.” It seems you are among those who have been duped by Joan Peters’ long since debunked “From Time Immemorial.....”

Dr. Porath, one of Israel's leading demographic historians, called Peters’ book a "forgery... [that] was almost universally dismissed [in Israel] as sheer rubbish except maybe as a propaganda weapon."(New York Times, Nov.28, 1985)

Rabbi Arthur Herzberg, vice-president of the WJC, agreed: "I think that she's cooked the statistics.... The scholarship is phony and tendentious. I do not believe that she has read the Arabic sources that she quotes."(ibid)

To further quote Professor Porath: “The precise demographic history of modern Palestine cannot be summed up briefly, but its main features are clear enough and they are very different from the fanciful description Mrs. Peters gives.... [S]he has apparently searched through documents for any statement to the effect that Arabs entered Palestine. But even if we put together all the cases she cites, one cannot escape the conclusion that most of the growth of the Palestinian Arab community resulted from a process of natural increase.” (“Mrs. Peters’ Palestine” New York Review of Books, 16 January 1986.)

From Dr. Bill Farrell’s detailed review in the Fall 1984 issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies: “Joan Peters and the Perversion of History” – “After investigating Peters’ claims, this just becomes another badly written book with a premeditated bias. It will convince no scholars, or change the historiography of the Middle East. In the future, it will only be remembered by those who already believed its fraudulent assertions before its publication, who desired pulp instead of fact.”

Peters ignored the population figures for Palestine carefully calculated by expert demographers during the 19th century as well as censuses taken by British officials during the British mandate. Her thesis is also riddled with contradictions, easily detected misrepresentations of documented history and invalid data plagiarized from a long since discredited source. Many scholars are convinced Ms. Peters did not write the book herself, but served as a front for others whose motives are obvious.

You also write: “All references to the land of Israel by travelers in the early 19th century refer to it as a desolate and uninhabited land.”

In 1615, the English poet George Sandys found Palestine to be "a land that flowed with milk and honey; in the midst as it were of the habitable world, and under a temperate clime; adorned with beautiful mountains and luxurious valleys; the rocks producing excellent waters; and no part empty of delight or profit."

Englishwoman Lady Hester Stanhope visited Palestine in 1810, "The luxuriance of vegetation is not to be described....Fruits of all sorts from the banana to the blackberry are abundant. The banks of the rivers are clothed naturally with oleander and flowering shrubs.... [The Arab orchards near Jaffa] contained lemon, orange, almond, peach, apple, pomegranate and other trees."
In 1859, a British missionary described the southern coast of Palestine as "a very ocean of wheat...the fields would do credit to British farming."

While visiting Palestine in 1883, Englishman Laurence Oliphant described the Plain of Esdraelon at Acre as being "...in a high state of cultivation. It looks today like a huge green lake of waving wheat, with its village-crowned mounds rising from it like islands and it presents one of the most striking pictures of luxurious fertility which it is possible to conceive."

Palestine's Jaffa oranges were of such high quality that in 1856, Henry Gillman, the American consul in Jerusalem, suggested that Florida citrus growers would improve their crops by studying and adopting Palestinian grafting techniques.

According to you, “[t]he only references to Palestine and the Palestinians that one finds pre-1947 actually refer to the Jews living in Israel,....”

Wrong again:

For your edification, the region between the Jordan River and the Med. Sea was first referred to as "Palestine" by the Greek historian Herodotus ("the father of history") during the 5th century BCE.

100 years later, in the mid-4th Century BCE, Aristotle made reference to the Dead Sea in his Meteorology. "Again if, as is fabled, there is a lake in Palestine...."

Jewish historian Josephus's (c.37-100 CE) The Jewish War, Antiquities of the Jews contains copious references to both "Palestine" and "Palestinians."

Early in their rule, the Romans referred to the region around Jerusalem as Palaestina and in turn, the Byzantines named the region or province west of the Jordan River, from Mount Carmel in the north to the Gaza Strip in the south, Palaestina Prima.

When the Muslim Arabs arrived in Palestine (and liberated its Jewish population from Byzantine Christian oppression, as they would later in southern Spain when they freed Jews from Catholic oppression), they retained the administrative organization of the territory of Palestine as it had been under the Romans and the Byzantines. The Arabs referred to Palestine as “Filastin.”

European tourist books of the nineteenth century refer to "Palestine," as did Theodor Herzl in his correspondence. The 1917 Balfour Declaration also refers to “Palestine” and so does the League of Nations Class A Mandate British Mandate under which Britain was authorized to administer Palestine AS A WHOLE until its citizens could assume democratic self-rule. It did not call for either a Jewish state or homeland in Palestine or any form of partition.

You furter assert: “If you had a bit of decency or fairness, you would acknowledge that the Jews accepted the partition of the land, and the Arabs refused and went to war instead...”

More nonsense:

Palestinians and their fellow Arabs did not accept the Partition Plan because although Jews (90% of whom were of foreign origin) made up just 31% of the population (only 30% had taken out citizenship, thousands were illegal immigrants) and owned less that 6% of the land, the Partition Plan (recommendatory only, illegal, contrary to the terms of the British Class A Mandate, never adopted by the UNSC) outrageously recommended they be given 56% of Palestine (including its most fertile areas) in which Palestinians made up 45% of the population. (10% of Palestine's total Jewish population consisted of native anti-Zionist Palestinian/Arab Jews).

Although native Palestinians citizens made up at least 69% of the population and owned over 94% of the land, the Partition Plan recommended they have a mere 42% as a state. (The 2% of Palestine comprised of Jerusalem, East and West, and Bethlehem was to be a corpus separatum under international control). No wonder the utterly unjust and illegal Partition Plan was rejected by Palestinians. Indeed, it proved so unworkable that when Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee, David Gruen) et al. declared the "Jewish State" of Israel effective 15 May 1948 (after Jewish forces had already expelled and dispossessed 400,000 Palestinians as per the Jewish Agency's Plan Dalet), the UNGA was in the process of shelving the Partition Plan in favor of a UN Trusteeship for Palestine. When war erupted brought due to the necessity of intervention by the outnumbered and outgunned Arab state armies in order to stem the accelerating expulsion of Palestinians, a US proposed cease-fire was accepted by the Arab League but rejected by Israel. During the ensuing war Israel seized 78% of Palestine, expelled a further 400,000 Palestinians and bulldozed nearly 500 of their towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries. (Just before and during Israel's first invasion of Egypt in 1956, the IDF drove out 25,000 more Palestinians and during the war it launched on 5 June 1967, Israel expelled a further 400,000 Palestinians.)

It is you who are ignorant; however it would take hours to correct all of the mistakes and misinterpretations in your rant.

To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize. --Voltaire

Not all Jews or Jewish organizations lobby to block the human rights of another people, participate in hateful Nakba denial to maintain supremacy, or see the Palestinian right of return as a "demographic threat". As one example (and there are many others) please see the IJAN's Points of Unity.

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network IJAN


Points of Unity

While we all come from diverse organizing and activist experiences, and have diverse relationships to our Jewish histories and identities, we share the following points of unity:

* Solidarity with the struggle for Palestinian self-determination, including full political, economic, cultural, social and land rights for all those living in the historic Palestine, and the right of return for its refugees;
* Rejection of the Israeli apartheid state, premised on Jewish supremacy and Zionist ideology, and support for all struggles for legal and economic equality against it;
* Support for the building of just societies in historic Palestine, the larger region, and the other places in which we live;
* A commitment to the values of democratic self-determination, social justice and solidarity, gender equality and cultural rights, and to assert the same values in our own organizing and political practice;
* Commitment to the call from Palestine for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel;
* Challenging the current use of Islamophobia as a strategy for defending and justifying an imperialist US-European agenda;
* Challenging white racism, including its manifestations as Ashkenazi racism against Mizrahi Jews;
* Challenging the privileging of Jewish voices in conversations and negotiations about Palestine;
* Rejection of the ways in which the Zionist movement and Western governments exploit the Nazi holocaust to justify the historic and current actions of the State of Israel; and
* Rejection of alliances with anti-Jewish racists, white supremacist and Nazi holocaust deniers in our Palestinian solidarity work.

You may be Jewish, but you are woefully ignorant about Israel, the. Arabs, and even Judaism. You also know nothing about real apartheid, or you would realize that Israel is more multi-religious, multi-cultural, and less racist than most countries-- and more than all Arab countries--in the world. 20% of Israeli citizens are Arab, most of them Muslim, and they have the same rights as all other Israeis. On the other hand, Jews were expelled from almost all of the Arab countries in the Middle East in 1948, and their money and businesses were stolen by the Arab governments. Those Jews (many of whom had lived in those countries longer than the Arabs themselves) were not allowed to return, and were never compensated for their losses. Talk about apartheid, and a real naqba.

I support your view wholeheartedly. It is to be commended that the humanity that lies at the core of the Jewish tradition finds voice through organisations such as yours. It takes courage to fight the label "self-hating Jew" - an insult that discourages people from expressing opinions or indeed stating facts. Was Abraham Lincoln a self-hating white for ending slavery in the face of white opposition ?

Truth often provokes outrage. I give three cheers to the independently minded people who have the courage to support this poster in a country where criticism of Israel has been taboo for over 50 years even though it has been in breach of international law for most of that time. Israel was a state born out of a merciless campaign of terrorism that did not discriminate between UN officials, soldiers and civilians when it came to mass murder. Ethnic cleansing and the world's largest illegal nuclear arsenal continue to be supported with $3 billion a year (yes - I did say $3 billion) of your money even though Israel enjoys one of the highest standards of living on the planet. Next time one of your political representatives wants to close a library or a school, ask him how he can justify giving the equivalent of $500 to every Israeli citizen. Well done the folks of Chappaqua for voting against the censorship of this poster.

Sorry, folks, but the maps are not accurate. They do not represent what they pretend to represent.

Map No. 1: Shows the more or less appropriate amount of land owned by Jews, but does not show that 76% of Mandate Palestine was STATE land, not owned by any individual, group or organization. The true figures were: Arab landowners: 16%; Jewish owners: 8%; Mandate Authority: 76%. This map represents a lie.

Map No. 2: Has nothing to do with ownership, but shows the UN Partition Plan. To describe this as representing ownership is a lie.

Map No. 3: This map shows the cease-fire lines after Israel's War of Independence, and again, has nothing to do with land ownership. Since Egypt conquered and held the Gaza Strip as "enemy territory" and Jordan attempted to annex the West Bank as part of Jordan (which was disallowed by the UN), to say this map represents ownership is another lie.

Map No. 4: This map denotes only "Area A", the areas that are under the total control of the Palestinian Authority. Area B lands, which the PA has administrative control, but not control of security are not indicated on this map. Again the map has nothing to do with ownership.

In short, none of these maps acrutally represent what they claim to, but give a slanted picture, whose connection with truth is, as best, very tenuous.

Anyone challenging my comment is welcome to prove their case by showing maps that confirm the claims presented by this propaganda exercise, and are not published by the Palestinian Authority.


I agree with your statement that the maps are misleading. Even high school students get points taken off if they don't appropriately title scientific statistical data. Maybe the folks who created these ads could learn something by going back to high school?

Thank you for telling the actual facts. Not that the brainwashed Palestinian lovers will acknowledge tham, but you never know...

The source for Palestinian privately owned land, Jewish privately owned land and state land is
Village Statistics (Jerusalem: Palestine Government, 1945; subsequently published as United Nations map no 94(b) in August, 1950.


Palestine govt. (British Mandate), Jerusalem, 1945.

Subdistricts - Land ownership:

Subdistrict Palestinian owned land Jewish owned land State land

Acre 87% 3% 10%

Safed 68% 18% 14%

Haifa 42% 35% 23%

Nazareth 52% 28% 20%

Tiberias 51% 38% 11%

Jenin 84% Less than 1% 16%

Beisan 44% 34% 22%

Tulkarm 78% 17% 5%

Nablus 87% Less than 1% 13%

Jaffa 47% 39% 14%

Ramleh 77% 14% 9%

Ramallah 99% Less than 1% Less than 1%

Jerusalem 84% 2% 14%

Gaza 75% 4% 21%

Hebron 96% Less than 1% 4%

Beersheba 15% less than 1% 85 %

One word: baloney!

Greywolfe, you would also challenge the scholarship of Jewish historian Ilan Pappe who has extensively documented Israel's ruthless and ongoing purging of Palestine in his book:


...or the fact that Israel is indeed an illegitimate entity, as described in the following article by close friend of Golda Meir, Alan Hart.


Zionism’s assertion that Israel was given its birth certificate and thus legitimacy by the UN General Assembly partition resolution of 29 November 1947 is pure propaganda nonsense, as demonstrated by an honest examination of the record of what actually happened.

In the first place the UN without the consent of the majority of the people of Palestine did not have the right to decide to partition Palestine or assign any part of its territory to a minority of alien immigrants in order for them to establish a state of their own.

Despite that, by the narrowest of margins, and only after a rigged vote, the UN General Assembly did pass a resolution to partition Palestine and create two states, one Arab, one Jewish, with Jerusalem not part of either. But the General Assembly resolution was only a non-binding proposal - meaning that it could have no effect, would not become binding, until and unless it was approved by the Security Council.

The truth is that the General Assembly’s partition proposal never went to the Security Council for consideration. Why not? Because the US knew that, if approved, and because of Arab and other Muslim opposition, it could only be implemented by force; and President Truman was not prepared to use force to partition Palestine.

So the partition plan was vitiated (became invalid) and the question of what the hell to do about Palestine - after Britain had made a mess of it and walked away - was taken back to the General Assembly for more discussion. The option favoured and proposed by the US was temporary UN Trusteeship. It was while the General Assembly was debating what do that Israel unilaterally declared itself to be in existence - actually in defiance of the will of the organised international community, including the Truman administration.

The truth of the time was that Israel, which came into being mainly as a consequence of Zionist terrorism and pre-planned ethnic cleansing, had no right to exist and, more to the point, could have no right to exist unless ….. Unless it was recognised and legitimized by those who were dispossessed of their land and their rights during the creation of the Zionist state. In international law only the Palestinians could give Israel the legitimacy it craved.


The fact remains, despite your attempts to invalidate claims that Israel purged Palestine and is continuing to purge Palestine and illegally acquire ever more stolen land, that Israel is a violent racist apartheid non-democratic entity that no one of good conscience should support.


When I want statistics on land ownership in my town present AND past, I go to my town hall and look them up or I go to my local library and look at PRIMARY SOURCES. I don't read books by authors who may or may not have an political agenda funded by the publishers of their book and I certainly don't accept billboards as representing anything other than what they are: ADVERTISEMENTS.

Ilan Pappe is not a historian; he changes facts to suit his own bizarre purposes. He is, in short, a liar, and any objective look at the facts proves it. You are foolish to be misled by this man. I suggest you use primary sources such as the NY Times Editions covering that UN vote, or the UN transcripts themselves. You might learn something.

"Castelli said. "However, the subliminal message that this particular billboard carries is an anti-Israeli message that I believe has just the opposite effect of creating peace and harmony between the Israeli and Palestinian people." "

Sorry Mr. Castelli; The only anti-Israeli message expressed by the billboard is truth. There is no peace and harmony in this totally asymmetric Conflict because Israel, a huge aggressive militaristic state supported by an estimated three trillion US tax dollars, has for more than 60 years continued illegally ethnically cleansing the rightful owners of their lands by murdering anyone who objects and stands in their way. The maps are accurate, but fail to address all of the other injustices and wars started by Israel against its neighbors, which would be good material for far more graphic and telling billboard ads.

This, for example:


or what could be depicted by this:

In the past 10 years Israeli forces have killed at least 255 Palestinian minors by fire to the head, and the number may actually be greater, since in many instances the specific bodily location of the lethal trauma is unlisted. In addition, this statistic does not include the many more Palestinian youngsters shot in the head by Israeli soldiers who survived, in one form or another.

Below is a small sampling of those who died:


This is a year-old story. Since then there have been several more children shot through their heads by Israeli soldiers, and many others murdered by shots to their bodies, as Israel continues starving them and denying many of them to travel even to seek medical help.

That these benign billboards are the subject of controversy is evidence of information control that exists in the US regarding matters of Israel, control that matches Israeli control of US Congress:


It's time that the ugly truths about Israel be told, as continuing US wars for Israel are costing the US far too much in blood and treasure:


The billboard is bare-bones factual and in fact vastly underestimates the injustices by not specifying the brutality and defiance of international law through which this land has been taken from them. Israel and its US lobby always invoke "complexity" when in fact the history is no more complex than any other armed robbery. This one has been ongoing for 64 years under US protection of Israel from international justice. The complexity lies in its astonishingly long concealment from Americans. Our 43 UN Security Council vetoes protecting Israel are more vetoes than the four other permanent members have cast altogether, and in every case the US vote has been the ONLY vote of 15 members (five permanent and 10 rotating) in favor of Israel. The US public is uniquely ignorant of the facts and has been kept that way by a tightly controlled entertainment and news media, and the US Congress has been tightly controlled by campaign financing orchestrated by AIPAC. Billboards are a method to bypass the heavily censored MSM and hasten an end to Israeli occupation of Washington DC.

It is the Palestinians, not the Israelis, who think nothing of using their own children as human shields, and have no compunctions against slaughtering Jewish civilians, including children and babies.. Ever wonder why there is more violence an brutality (specially, but not exclusively, against non-Muslims) in the Muslim and Arab world than anywhere else? And yet Israel is attacked in the Security Council by the most ruthless and bloodthirsty dictatorships, and for fabricated reasons, more than all other countries combined. It appears you have been successfully brainwashed by the Palestinian Lobby and their "useful idiots."

So what if the billboard is "biased and misleading". (It is.) But it is not "hate speech". It simply reflects a view of history which is different from what some would care to see. Rather than remove such "speech" from the public, we should engage in ongoing dialogue to better understand how history can legitimately be seen differently by different folks.

I encourage you to visit this site http://centerforconciliation.org/
to learn about avenues for historical conciliation.

Peace, salaam, shalom......

A map is not incitement. It either shows the facts or it doesn't. Taking down the maps won't change the facts.

Mr. Clifford is a hero for presenting some very important facts that the US media have suppressed for decades. If Pro-Israeli commuters feel uncomfortable seeing these maps, that means that the facts don't fit in with their Zionist world-view. Americans need to get to know reality,as it is experienced by the rest of the planet. This country is too big and too powerful to be run by ignorance and arrogance. We've done far too much damage already, while telling ourselves we are doing good.

It would be an example of hateful Nakba denial to take this billboard down as it represents the truth of Palestinian history - that of dispossession. Only when we confront and end the racism and supremacist sense of entitlement that prevents the Palestinian people from going back to their homes will we have peace - a peace with justice. Most likely that would look like a single democratic state with a constitution, (which Israel doesn't have) including an establishment clause and a bill of rights.

See http://www.palestineremembered.com/ and http://www.al-nakba-history.com/ to know Israel was not a land without people for a people without a land. Read Miko Peled, The General's Son, Marc Ellis, Judaism Does Not Equal Israel, Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Ramzy Baroud, My Father was a Freedom Fighter, Tikva Honig-Parnass, False Prophets of Peace - Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine - To learn about the history of AIPAC, see Foreign Agents: AIPAC from the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal by Grant F. Smith. This support of Israel is NOT in America's best interest. To learn more about Israeli espionage in America, see the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, http://www.irmep.org/ .