Cartography Catastrophe – Continued

Following the outcry in Israel after the Eurovision Song Contest‘s 2nd semifinal, in which Israel was the only country whose map was not shown prior to its song, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted the Norwegian hosts of this year’s contest to convey their message. During tonight’s final the Israeli map was indeed shown – albeit missing the west bank. Sources in the MFA told Ynet that they insisted Israel “will be shown as a country with borders, and not some amorphous entity”.

Graphics shown in the ESC’s 2nd semifinal::
ESC 2010 - 2nd semifinal - Israel
Graphics shown in the ESC’s final::
ESC 2010 - Final - Israel

I realize that all this might seem like some kind of a bizarre Rorschach inkblot test, making too much out of a graphical element, but I think flags, anthems and maps are important symbols of independence, and it seems every now and again someone figures Israel is fair game.

Cartography Catastrophe

Did you watch the European Song Contest‘s 2nd semifinal last night? Did you notice it? It came and went really fast, but did you manage to notice how Israel was wiped off the map?

Before each live performance a short video clip about the participating country was shown, but right before that video some on-screen graphics created the map of each country. Yes, each country but one: Israel.
Right before Harel Skaat took to the stage, the same yellow graphics that filled the screen for each other country, that graphics was now squished to the side and quickly disappeared.

Did the 62 years old Jewish nation get the shaft? Did The Jew Among Nations got the regular treatment? Serbia, a country that got its independence less than 4 years ago got similar treatment in the 1st semifinal; Does that fact make it better or worse?

Here’s the video (Don’t blink during the first few seconds):

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqmjDtTAz24

Screen captures for each participating county after the jump:
Continue reading Cartography Catastrophe

Standing Against A Tide of Hatred

[…] I watch the pro-Palestinian rallies that have been staged in capitals across the globe, and I try to tell myself that these people are not against me, or even Israel; that they just are dismayed with all the violence. I tell myself, as Jean Renoir pointed out with such pellucid irony in The Rules of the Game, that everybody has their reasons. But here is what I finally know: with all the troubles in the world, with the terrible things that the Chinese do in Tibet, and do to their own citizens; with the horrors of genocide committed in Darfur by Sudanese Muslims; with all the bad things that Arab governments in the Middle East visit upon their own people – no need for Israel to have a perfectly horrible time – still, the focus is on what the Jews may or may not be doing wrong in Gaza. And it makes people angry and vehement as nothing else does. The vitriol it inspires is downright weird. But that makes sense, because antisemitism itself – creepy, dark, ancient and insidious – is, more than anything else, just plain weird.
 
   – – “Standing Against A Tide of Hatred” – Elizabeth Wurtzel, January 16, 2009

Read this article in its entirety here.

Monopoly Game Manufacturer to End a Century Old Conflict

A month ago, I updated my readers on Hasbro’s worldwide vote to find the 22 greatest cities for the new world edition of the Monopoly board game. On my post titled ‘Up and Answer, Jewish Yeoman – Vote It Joyfully Aloud!‘ I jokingly called upon every right-wing nutter to defend Jerusalem, ‘eternal capital city of the Jewish people’, by voting for it on the Monopoly website.

Well, it turns out the joke was on me and my people:
Hasbro decided that the quickest way to end the Arab-Israeli conflict is to change the status of Jerusalem from the capital of Israel to an undefined territory, belonging to no man or nation. Although I probably should have foreseen that old shtick making a comeback, I did not – and so you will have to believe my word that the first version of the website listed ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ in one of the rankings.
Following are screenshots of the second and third versions:

[singlepic id=27 w=450 h=500 float=center]

As you can clearly see, on the second version every world city is naturally located within a country, except for Jerusalem. Smart way to end the conflict, right?
After the Israeli Embassy protested Hasbro’s doing (no, I am not kidding), the company decided to put on their smarty-pants and remove all the countries. Yes folks, just like every fourth Eurovision Song Contest and every second Olympic Games event, someone always wants to show preemptive kindness on the official website, so that the people who tend to get mad – won’t. Even as we speak, Hasbro is removing additional connections between cities of the world and their corresponding countries:
Can you find which words are missing from one of these four Monopoly city guides? (yellow highlight mine)

[singlepic id=23 w=235 h=500 float=center] [singlepic id=25 w=235 h=500 float=center]
[singlepic id=26 w=235 h=500 float=center] [singlepic id=24 w=235 h=500 float=center]