Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Maps of Israel

At the risk of violating copyrights (and thereby alienating both of my regular readers), let me offer you a map I haven't seen in a long time:

What's special about this particular map of Israel? Well, it makes no mention whatever of the disputed territories. No outlines (nor labels) for the Gaza strip, the West Bank, or the Golan Heights, which nearly every other map-maker feels obliged to do.

(Update: too bad I provided a link directly to, rather than to an archived copy of their map. It seems that they've corrected the "error"; the map displayed above does outline the territories, does not include the Golan Heights, and doesn't even mention the name Israel. Mustn't be controversial, I suppose. Interestingly, Lebanon isn't mentioned either. Given Syria's virtual annexation of Lebanon, that sort of creative map-making makes me wonder.)

For comparison, check out this one (unusually detailed, but otherwise typical), courtesy of the CIA:

Even the Israeli Government Press Office draws those boundaries, in the interests of bending over backwards to avoid the appearance of foul play:

Please note that the official Israeli map even draws the Golan Heights in a different color, which is silly; they were formally annexed by Israel in 1981. Showing the Heights in a different color today, twenty-three years later, makes about as much sense as doing the same for the Louisiana Purchase. (UPDATE: That may not have been the best analogy. You can find better ones here, if you're interested.)

For the record, I'm not offended by any of this. The Palestinian areas (comprising most, although not all, of the West Bank and Gaza Strip) are semi-autonomous, by negotiated agreements with Israel, and as such special mention on maps is justified. On the other hand, there is no such country as Palestine, nor has there ever been such a country, in spite of the wishful thinking of some people.

In reference to that last link, by the way, I might add that borderless maps of Israel are not that hard to find -- it's just that they're usually labelled "Palestine", by those who make no secret of their desire to eliminate Israel altogether. Finding a counterexample -- in MapQuest, of all places -- is highly unusual.

Daniel in Brookline


I hate blogger comments, so I'll probably never post again. I'm sure that doesn't break your heart, though.

I thought everyone that lived in brookline was a foil hatted moonbat?

Dogsnot Diaries
Hey Geoffrey,

*shrug* You can see that I'm not getting a lot of comments at this point. That's okay. I'll write when I want to, and other people can comment when they want to. It seems like a fair arrangement to me.

As for Brookline, you'd be surprised. (My fiancee is a reasonably hard-line Libertarian. And she's mellowed quite a bit, so she says.)

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