On maps, they presented themselves as isolated bubbles of land, separated by and large from coasts, major rivers and from each other.
Their shapes and composition ensured that they could never be economically or politically viable units.
They were, in other words, sham countries.
Last week I saw a map of what looks like a new bantustan. Broken into isolated fragments and cut off from the Mediterranean coast and the River Jordan, it represents the state of Palestine, as envisaged by the so-called road map of Messrs Bush and Blair.
Even Mr Bush’s government admits that a just peace between Palestine and Israel must encapsulate an independent and viable state for the Palestinian people.
The envisaged map of Palestine published last week, however, appears to show a state which could never be geographically viable.
Can it be that Messrs Bush and Blair are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of people who would like to see a just and fair peace in the Middle East?