The vlogbrothers, John and Hank Green, have some very popular YouTube channels, including Crash Course, Sci-Show, and Mental Floss. How popular? 4.3 million subscribers for all four (though most are probably duplicates).
I like the concept of these channels, a slightly humorous take on science, history, internet culture and others. Though it’s no secret they have a strong liberal leaning, they do try to be unbiased, giving two sides of the coin for hotly debated topics.
Well, unless it’s Israel.
In the recent Crash Course US History video on World War 2, John Green talks about the US’ involvement in the war, and gives us, the viewers, some cartographic assistance.
This map, which is supposed to show the European arena in 1942, has a few geographical errors, namely, contemporary borders. (excluding Czechoslovakia of course, as that is still contemporary for some)
This is how the map of Europe looked in 1942:
As you can see, there are numerous differences, and that includes annexing Judea and Samaria to the kingdom of Jordan, i.e. the “West Bank” of the Jordan river.
It’s these kind of oversights that introduce misconceptions about Israel, especially the historic narrative. It’s these kind of historical mistakes that lead way to “a map that lies“. In 1942, Jordan and Israel were one unit called the British Mandate for Palestine. The only time Judea and Samaria were a part of Jordan was during the 19-year long Jordanian occupation between 1948 and 1967.
Showing this map to the already clueless American teens, is even worse than not showing at all, because Crash Course, as well as other vlogbrother projects, are widely viewed, as I have stated, as unbiased and truthful. Showing the “West Bank” as not Israeli in a period of time before establishment of Israel, propagates the notion the Israel has no claim over that region, and never mind the decades, centuries and millennia of Jewish presence there, right up to 1948.
Like they say in my part of the woods:
DFTBA – Don’t forget to be accurate.
Update: I’m beginning to think this isn’t an honest mistake, but a method.
In the video about Christianity, Judea migrated to the Galilee.
I’ll ignore the modern-day borders and armistice lines as the basemap, and focus on the highlighted area that the video calls Judea.
That’s not Judea. that appears to be the Galilee and the northern valleys in Israel.
This is Judea:
Again, this begs the question, if Jews from Judea are actually in that north part of modern day Israel, and not in Judea, what message does this video give in regards to the Jewish narrative?