22. Support Accurate Maps in Textbooks

One of the most common complaints heard from both Israelis and Palestinians is that the other side does not recognize their basic legitimacy and right to exist. One of the easiest ways to rectify this is for each side to use and promote accurate maps that do not prejudice any future arrangements but reflect the current status on the ground. Yet all too often, the maps used by Israelis and Palestinians reflect maximalist territorial ambitions that erase the other side’s nationalist aspirations. The Palestinian tendency to draw maps of Palestine that incorporate all of the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and make no mention of Israel is well documented. As recent controversies over maps distributed by Birthright and maps in Tel Aviv schools made clear, Israel also too often uses maps that contain no hint of the Green Line and treat the West Bank—territory that Israel has not annexed and does not formally claim as part of Israel—as no different than the Negev or the coastal plain. Israeli and Palestinian maps should clearly have the Green Line marked and reflect the distinction between Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.