Israeli poster pulled from the London subway after the Syrian Embassy complained

Posted By Alex:

An Israeli tourism poster is being pulled from the London subway after the Syrian Embassy complained that the map on it appeared to show the Golan Heights and Palestinian territories within Israel’s boundaries, officials said Friday.

Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority received more than 300 complaints about the ad, a promotion for the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat, according to the agency’s spokesman Matt Wilson.

The Syrian Embassy and pro-Palestinian groups complained about it because the featured map appeared to show the territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war – the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights – within the borders of the Jewish state, according to the Israeli Tourism Ministry and the British standards authority.

Syrian Embassy spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the move follows days of lobbying to get rid of the ad, which he called offensive. Although Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, Israel maintains a tight blockade on the narrow strip of land and remains in the West Bank.

Full story Associated Press Writer

Comments (52)

Alex said:

Amazing how Israel decided to add the map with the Golan and West bank as part of Israel … a clear sign they are REALLY interested in land for peace!

Also, amazing effort by Jihad Makdissi who did most of the lobbying to get the posters removed… and it is not part of his job description I’m sure.

May 23rd, 2009, 8:47 am


Sasa said:

Brilliant success for the Embassy! We need more like that.

Now if only Israel would ACTUALLY leave the Syrian Golan Heights!

May 23rd, 2009, 9:28 am


Syrian Diaspora said:

re 1, Alex, “a clear sign they are REALLY interested in land for peace!”… Isn’t it the opposite?

May 23rd, 2009, 10:36 am


norman said:

I call for Syria to put on a map Palestine, Israel , Jordon, and Lebanon as one greater Syria in respose,

May 23rd, 2009, 10:58 am


norman said:


Syria’s Assad says Israel is ‘obstacle’ to peace

2009-05-23 11:36:03 –

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) – Syrian President Bashar Assad says Israel poses the «greatest obstacle» to Mideast peace and warns that the failure of negotiations would give the right to resist the occupation.
The Syrian leader said in Saturday’s speech to the organization of Islamic countries that peace must include regaining Arab territories held by Israel.
Israel and Syria conducted indirect peace negotiations through Turkish mediators last year, but they were suspended in December with Israel’s Gaza war.
Assad said recently he didn’t think Israel’s hard-line government was a good peace partner.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he would not return the occupied Golan Heights, but was open to restarting peace talks.

Press release:
Kontaktinformation: e-mail

Disclaimer: If you have any questions regarding information in these press releases please contact the company added in the press release. Please do not contact pr-inside. We will not be able to assist you. PR-inside disclaims contents contained in this release.

May 23rd, 2009, 11:05 am


Sh said:


Indeed it is sad that Israeli arrogance is also exercised in this fashion. Those who perpetrate such insensitive and hurtful acts are intoxicated with power, disrespect, and underestimation of their rival.

May 23rd, 2009, 11:19 am


Akbar Palace said:

I call for Syria to put on a map Palestine, Israel , Jordon, and Lebanon as one greater Syria in respose


You mean like these:


I guess you got your answer from BB’s “no preconditions” statement.


May 23rd, 2009, 11:40 am


norman said:


It looks good to me and I am glad i won your approval , you can join us and live as equal,

May 23rd, 2009, 11:44 am


t.desce said:

I wonder who is responsible for this piece of crap, the BND, Mossad, or both…? Or perhaps the DSGS (Malbrunot was the first to mention this theory, I think)?

It certainly has nothing to do with the upcoming elections. Nah…

For the record:


New Evidence Points to Hezbollah in Hariri Murder

By Erich Follath

The United Nations special tribunal investigating the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri has reached surprising new conclusions — and it is keeping them secret. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, investigators now believe Hezbollah was behind the Hariri murder.

It was an act of virtually Shakespearean dimensions, a family tragedy involving murder and suicide, contrived and real tears — and a good deal of big-time politics.

On February 14, 2005, Valentine’s Day, at 12:56 p.m., a massive bomb exploded in front of the Hotel St. Georges in Beirut, just as the motorcade of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri passed by. The explosives ripped a crater two meters deep into the street, and the blast destroyed the local branch of Britain’s HSBC Bank. Body parts were hurled as far as the roofs of surrounding buildings. Twenty-three people died in the explosion and ensuing inferno, including Hariri, his bodyguards and passersby.

The shock waves quickly spread across the Middle East. Why did Hariri have to die? Who carried out the attack and who was behind it? What did they hope to achieve politically?

The Hariri assassination has been the source of wild speculation ever since. Was it the work of terrorist organization al-Qaida, angered by Hariri’s close ties to the Saudi royal family? Or of the Israelis, as part of their constant efforts to weaken neighboring Lebanon? Or the Iranians, who hated secularist Hariri?

At the time of the attack, it was known that Hariri, a billionaire construction magnate who was responsible for the reconstruction of the Lebanese capital after decades of civil war, wanted to reenter politics. It was also known that he had had a falling out with Syrian President Bashar Assad after demanding the withdrawal of Syrian occupation forces from his native Lebanon. As a result, the prime suspects in the murder were the powerful Syrian military and intelligence agency, as well as their Lebanese henchmen. The pressure on Damascus came at an opportune time for the US government. Then-President George W. Bush had placed Syria on his list of rogue states and wanted to isolate the regime internationally.

In late 2005, an investigation team approved by the United Nations and headed by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis found, after seven months of research, that Syrian security forces and high-ranking Lebanese officials were in fact responsible for the Hariri murder. Four suspects were arrested. But the smoking gun, the final piece of evidence, was not found. The pace of the investigation stalled under Mehlis’s Belgian successor, Serge Brammertz.

The establishment of a UN special tribunal was intended to provide certainty. It began its work on March 1, 2009. The tribunal, headquartered in the town of Leidschendam in the Netherlands, has a budget of more than €40 million ($56 million) for the first year alone, with the UN paying 51 percent and Beirut 49 percent of the cost. It has an initial mandate for three years, and the most severe sentence it can impose is life in prison. Canadian Daniel Bellemare, 57, was appointed to head the tribunal. Four of the 11 judges are Lebanese, whose identities have been kept secret, for security reasons.

As its first official act, the tribunal ordered the release, in early April, of the four men Mehlis had had arrested. By then, they had already spent more than three years sitting in a Lebanese prison. Since then, it has been deathly quiet in Leidschendam, as if the investigation had just begun and there were nothing to say.

But now there are signs that the investigation has yielded new and explosive results. SPIEGEL has learned from sources close to the tribunal and verified by examining internal documents, that the Hariri case is about to take a sensational turn. Intensive investigations in Lebanon are all pointing to a new conclusion: that it was not the Syrians, but instead special forces of the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah (“Party of God”) that planned and executed the diabolical attack. Tribunal chief Bellemare and his fellow judges apparently want to hold back this information, of which they been aware for about a month. What are they afraid of?

According to the detailed information provided by the SPIEGEL source, the fact that the case may have been “cracked” is the result of a mixture of serendipity à la Sherlock Holmes and the state-of-the-art technology used by cyber detectives. In months of painstaking work, a secretly operating special unit of the Lebanese security forces, headed by intelligence expert Captain Wissam Eid, filtered out the numbers of mobile phones that could be pinpointed to the area surrounding Hariri on the days leading up to the attack and on the date of the murder itself. The investigators referred to these mobile phones as the “first circle of hell.”

Captain Eid’s team eventually identified eight mobile phones, all of which had been purchased on the same day in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. They were activated six weeks before the assassination, and they were used exclusively for communication among their users and — with the exception of one case — were no longer used after the attack. They were apparently tools of the hit team that carried out the terrorist attack.

But there was also a “second circle of hell,” a network of about 20 mobile phones that were identified as being in proximity to the first eight phones noticeably often. According to the Lebanese security forces, all of the numbers involved apparently belong to the “operational arm” of Hezbollah, which maintains a militia in Lebanon that is more powerful than the regular Lebanese army. While part of the Party of God acts like a normal political organization, participating in democratic elections and appointing cabinet ministers, the other part uses less savory tactics, such as abductions near the Israeli border and terrorist attacks, such those committed against Jewish facilities in South America in 2002 and 2004.

The whereabouts of the two Beirut groups of mobile phone users coincided again and again, and they were sometimes located near the site of the attack. The romantic attachment of one of the terrorists led the cyber-detectives directly to one of the main suspects. He committed the unbelievable indiscretion of calling his girlfriend from one of the “hot” phones. It only happened once, but it was enough to identify the man. He is believed to be Abd al-Majid Ghamlush, from the town of Rumin, a Hezbollah member who had completed training course in Iran. Ghamlush was also identified as the buyer of the mobile phones. He has since disappeared, and perhaps is no longer alive.

Ghamlush’s recklessness led investigators to the man they now suspect was the mastermind of the terrorist attack: Hajj Salim, 45. A southern Lebanese from Nabatiyah, Salim is considered to be the commander of the “military” wing of Hezbollah and lives in South Beirut, a Shiite stronghold. Salim’s secret “Special Operational Unit” reports directly to Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, 48.

Imad Mughniyah, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, ran the unit until Feb. 12, 2008, when he was killed in an attack in Damascus, presumably by Israeli intelligence. Since then, Salim has largely assumed the duties of his notorious predecessor, with Mughniyah’s brother-in-law, Mustafa Badr al-Din, serving as his deputy. The two men report only to their superior, and to General Kassim Sulaimani, their contact in Tehran. The Iranians, the principal financiers of the military Lebanese “Party of God,” have repressed the Syrians’ influence.

The deeper the investigators in Beirut penetrated into the case, the clearer the picture became, according to the SPIEGEL source. They have apparently discovered which Hezbollah member obtained the small Mitsubishi truck used in the attack. They have also been able to trace the origins of the explosives, more than 1,000 kilograms of TNT, C4 and hexogen.

The Lebanese chief investigator and true hero of the story didn’t live to witness many of the recent successes in the investigation. Captain Eid, 31, was killed in a terrorist attack in the Beirut suburb of Hasmiyah on Jan. 25, 2008. The attack, in which three other people were also killed, was apparently intended to slow down the investigation. And, once again, there was evidence of involvement by the Hezbollah commando unit, just as there has been in each of more than a dozen attacks against prominent Lebanese in the last four years.

This leaves the question of motive unanswered. Many had an interest in Hariri’s death. Why should Hezbollah — or its backers in Iran — be responsible?

Hariri’s growing popularity could have been a thorn in the side of Lebanese Shiite leader Nasrallah. In 2005, the billionaire began to outstrip the revolutionary leader in terms of popularity. Besides, he stood for everything the fanatical and spartan Hezbollah leader hated: close ties to the West and a prominent position among moderate Arab heads of state, an opulent lifestyle, and membership in the competing Sunni faith. Hariri was, in a sense, the alternative to Nasrallah.

Whether Lebanon has developed in the direction the Hezbollah leader apparently imagined seems doubtful. Immediately after the spectacular terrorist attack on Valentine’s Day in 2005, a wave of sympathy for the murdered politician swept across the country. The so-called “cedar revolution” brought a pro-Western government to power, and the son of the murdered man emerged as the most important party leader and strongest figure operating in the background. Saad al-Hariri, 39, could have become prime minister of Lebanon long ago — if he were willing to accept the risks and felt sufficiently qualified to hold office. After the Hariri murder, the Syrian occupation force left the country in response to international and domestic Lebanese pressure.

But not everything has gone wrong from Hezbollah’s standpoint. In July 2006, Nasrallah, by kidnapping Israeli soldiers, provoked Israel to launch a war against Lebanon. Hezbollah defied the superior military power, solidifying its image as a resistance movement in large parts of the Arab world. If there were democratic opinion polls in the Middle East, Nasrallah would probably be voted the most popular leader. The highly anticipated June 7 elections will demonstrate whether the Lebanese will allow Nasrallah to radicalize them again. Once again, he is entering into the election campaign in a dual role. He is both the secretary-general of the “Party of God,” represented in the parliament since 1992, and the head of Hezbollah’s militia, part of a state within a state that makes its own laws.

Hezbollah currently holds 14 of 128 seats in parliament, a number that is expected to rise. Some even believe that dramatic gains are possible for Hezbollah, although landslide-like changes in the Lebanese parliamentary system are relatively unlikely. A system of religious proportionality ensures, with list alliances arranged in advance, that about two-thirds of the seats in parliament are assigned before an election. In the cedar state, a Sunni must always be prime minister, while the Shiites are entitled to the office of speaker of parliament and the Christians the relatively unimportant office of the president.

Hezbollah has not managed to upset this system, adopted decades ago, even though it objectively puts its clientele at a disadvantage. As a result of differences in birthrates, there are now far more Shiites than Sunnis or Christians in Lebanon. Some say that Nasrallah isn’t even interested in securing power through elections, and that the “Party of God” would be satisfied with a modest share of the government. By not taking on too much government responsibility, Hezbollah would not be forced to dissolve its militias and make significant changes to its ideology of resistance.

The revelations about the alleged orchestrators of the Hariri murder will likely harm Hezbollah. Large segments of the population are weary of internal conflicts and are anxious for reconciliation. The leader of the movement, which, despite its formal recognition of the democratic rules of the game, remains on the US’s list of terrorist organizations, probably anticipates forthcoming problems with the UN tribunal. In a speech in Beirut, Nasrallah spoke of the tribunal’s “conspiratorial intentions.”

The revelations are likely to be just as unwelcome in Tehran, which sees itself confronted, once again, with the charge of exporting terrorism. Damascus’s view of the situation could be more mixed. Although the Syrian government is not being declared free of the suspicion of involvement, at least President Assad is no longer in the line of fire. Hardly anything suggests anymore that he was personally aware of the murder plot or even ordered the killing.

One can only speculate over the reasons why the Hariri tribunal is holding back its new information about the assassination. Perhaps the investigators in the Netherlands fear that it could stir up the situation in Lebanon. On Friday evening, the press office in Leidschendam responded tersely to a written inquiry from SPIEGEL, noting that it could not comment on “operational details.”

Detlev Mehlis, 60, the German senior prosecutor and former UN chief investigator, has his own set of concerns. He performed his investigation to the best of his knowledge and belief, questioning more than 500 witnesses, and now he must put up with the accusation of having focused his attention too heavily on Syrian leads. The UN tribunal’s order to release the generals who were arrested at his specific request is, at any rate, a serious blow to the German prosecutor.

One of the four, Jamal al-Sajjid, the former head of Lebanese intelligence, has even filed a suit against Mehlis in France for “manipulated investigations.” In media interviews, such as an interview with the Al-Jazeera Arab television network last week, Sajjid has even taken his allegations a step further, accusing German police commissioner Gerhard Lehmann, Mehlis’s assistant in the Beirut investigations, of blackmail.

Sajjid claims that Lehmann, a member of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) proposed a deal with the Syrian president to the Lebanese man. Under the alleged arrangement, Assad would identify the person responsible for the Hariri killing and convince him to commit suicide, and then the case would be closed. According to Sajjid, the authorities in Beirut made “unethical proposals, as well as threats,” and he claims that he has recordings of the incriminating conversations.

Mehlis denies all accusations. Lehmann, now working on a new assignment in Saudi Arabia, was unavailable for comment. But the spotlight-loving Jamil al-Sajjid could soon be embarking on a new career. He is under consideration for the post of Lebanon’s next justice minister.
Der Spiegel

May 23rd, 2009, 12:56 pm


t.desce said:

Speaking of the *DGSE…:

Attentat au Caire – Le Hezbollah a-t-il “châtié” la France en Egypte

Cécile aurait pu voter pour la première fois de sa vie lors des élections européennes du 7 juin. A cette date, cette jeune lycéenne de Levallois-Perret aurait eu 18 ans. Sa vie a été fauchée, le 22 février dernier au Caire, alors qu’elle participait à un voyage en Egypte avec ses camarades.

Assise sur le banc auprès duquel avait été posée une charge d’explosif C4, Cécile mordait dans un sandwich, son dernier repas, lorsqu’elle a perdu la vie, sans souffrir. Victime du terrorisme aveugle ? Pas si sûr. Dès le 25 février, France-Soir révélait, dans la foulée du Canard enchaîné, que la DGSE (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure, les services secrets français) avait adressé une note à Paris indiquant que le groupe de lycéens avait été suivi et donc délibérément visé par cet acte terroriste.

Le spectre du Hezbollah

L’annonce officielle du ministre égyptien fait planer le spectre du Hezbollah. En effet, la présence de coupables présumés « de nationalités diverses » pourrait signer un attentat dirigé contre les intérêts occidentaux par une des mouvances de l’hydre islamiste. En creux et à demi-mot, c’est ce que confiait hier à France-Soir un officiel égyptien : « Nous travaillons sur deux hypothèses. Soit l’acte terroriste a été perpétré par un groupe nouveau, inconnu et amateur, soit il l’a été par une branche du Hezbollah. » Si cette dernière assertion se révélait exacte, il s’agirait du premier acte sanglant commis sur le sol égyptien par le mouvement chiite implanté au Liban.

Français en première ligne

L’information est capitale. Et elle prend tout son sens à la lumière de la note rédigée fin février par les services spéciaux tricolores. Les correspondants de la DGSE au Caire auraient en effet indiqué que les ressortissants français avaient délibérément été pris pour cible pour châtier Paris qui avait fourni une « aide militaire » à Israël durant la guerre du Liban fin 2006. A l’époque, Tsahal, l’armée israélienne, avait vainement tenté de mettre à bas le mouvement chiite enkysté au Liban. (…)
France Soir

Now, this is funny because…:

7 arrested in connection to Cairo blast


CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities have arrested seven people for being part of an al-Qaida linked group accused of carrying out an attack on a famed Cairo bazaar that killed a French teenager, said the Interior Ministry Saturday.

The ministry said the suspects were part of a group called the Palestinian Islamic Army, which is led by two Egyptian nationals, who remain at large outside the country.

The arrested include two Palestinians, two Egyptians, a British-Egyptian, a Belgian-Tunisian and a French-Albanian woman, some of whom had entered Egypt as students. (…)

May 23rd, 2009, 1:15 pm


t.desce said:

BTW, I have long had the suspicion that they want to restart the civil war in Lebanon as their “solution” to the question of Hizbullah’s weapons. The last attempt didn’t work that well, one year ago…

For the record, this was the original article by Georges Malbrunot:

L’ombre du Hezbollah sur l’assassinat de Hariri

Publié le 19 août 2006

«Le Figaro» révèle qu’un Libanais, proche du mouvement chiite, est recherché pour avoir participé à la préparation du crime contre l’ancien premier ministre.

LES ENQUÊTEURS libanais, en charge de l’assassinat de Rafic Hariri, travaillent depuis quelques mois sur une nouvelle piste, qui conduit au Hezbollah. «L’enquête internationale dirigée par le juge Serge Brammertz s’oriente également dans cette direction», confirme, au Figaro, un proche de Saad Hariri, le fils de l’ancien premier ministre tué dans un attentat en février 2005 à Beyrouth. La liquidation a été imputée à la Syrie, qui dément avoir une quelconque responsabilité dans le meurtre. Le juge antiterroriste français Jean-Louis Bruguière, qui enquête sur le meurtre à Beyrouth de Samir Kassir, une autre personnalité antisyrienne, a été mis au courant de cette piste chiite, lors de sa récente visite au Liban. Brammertz n’a pas l’habitude de commenter ses recherches.

Tout commence par l’identification par les Forces de sécurité intérieure (FSI) d’un groupe de téléphones portables, qui n’a été utilisé qu’avant et juste après le crime. «Leurs propriétaires, une dizaine au maximum, ont cessé de s’en servir, après avoir reçu d’ultimes consignes pour échapper à la traque lancée après la mort de Hariri», affirme une source proche des FSI à Beyrouth. Mais l’un d’eux a commis une erreur, en appelant un de ses amis, qui ne faisait pas partie du réseau de complices.

Grâce aux relevés téléphoniques, les policiers ont enregistré le numéro de cet ami, puis l’ont interrogé. Celui-ci leur a livré le nom de son correspondant. L’individu, depuis, est introuvable. Il serait en fuite, vraisemblablement en Syrie, sa famille au Liban ayant reçu un appel depuis Damas. Selon le proche de Saad Hariri, il s’agit d’un Libanais, évoluant dans la mouvance du Hezbollah et de ses services de renseignement. Il est activement recherché, même si Interpol n’a pas encore été saisi d’une requête en ce sens. «Les enquêteurs libanais ont très peur de ce qu’ils ont découvert», explique la source proche de l’enquête. Les autres membres du réseau, eux, n’ont pas été identifiés.

Le Hezbollah n’ignore rien de ce nouvel élément du dossier. Maladroitement, en effet, des FSI sont allés interroger les membres de la famille de l’individu recherché, qui en ont aussitôt informé le mouvement chiite. Il ne s’agit pour l’heure que d’une piste. Ni les FSI ni vraisemblablement Serge Brammertz ne disposent de preuve pour étayer leurs soupçons. Mais les uns et les autres jugent cette piste «sérieuse». Elle ne modifie pas l’orientation générale de l’enquête : la Syrie reste pointée du doigt. «Les Syriens ont cloisonné l’opération, en confiant à leurs différents alliés au Liban le soin de préparer cet attentat, sans que l’un sache ce que l’autre avait à faire», estime un spécialiste des questions de sécurité.

La Syrie reste pointée du doigt

Dans ce schéma, le Hezbollah avait son rôle à jouer. «Qui avait la capacité de faire entrer au Liban l’équivalent de 1 200 kilos de TNT ?», s’interroge le proche de Saad Hariri. «La Syrie, un service de sécurité libanais à sa solde, et le Hezbollah», répond-il. En août 2005, quatre généraux libanais, à la tête des services de sécurité à l’époque de la mainmise syrienne, ont été les premiers à être écroués, sous l’accusation de complicité dans la préparation de l’assassinat.

Cheikh Nasrallah, le chef du Hezbollah, a-t-il été informé des préparatifs de l’assassinat ? Ses parrains syriens, maîtres du flux d’armes iraniennes qui lui sont destinées, lui ont-ils, au contraire, forcé la main ? «En impliquant le Hezbollah dans l’assassinat de Hariri, les Syriens tiennent Cheikh Nasrallah», assure la source proche des FSI. Ce qui pourrait expliquer que tout au long du conflit face à Israël, le chef du Parti de Dieu s’est beaucoup méfié des Syriens, selon une source informée dans l’appareil sécuritaire libanais. Pour lui, prendre désormais ses distances de son allié syrien peut s’avérer très dangereux.

Hariri gênait les visées du Hezbollah

Même si les relations entre Hariri et le Hezbollah n’ont jamais été solides, quel aurait pu être l’intérêt du mouvement chiite de participer à son élimination ? «De par sa stature, Hariri, le richissime leader sunnite, gênait les visées du Hezbollah au Liban et plus largement de l’Iran qui cherche à renforcer l’influence de ses alliés chiites dans le monde arabe», estime le proche de Saad Hariri. Les Iraniens sont-ils impliqués dans l’assassinat ? Quels sont les liens entre l’individu recherché et les pasdarans, les gardiens de la révolution à Téhéran ? Les enquêteurs cherchent des réponses à ces questions. Dans le contexte actuel, les révélations qu’ils pourraient faire sont potentiellement explosives. Elles risquent d’aggraver les tensions communautaires entre chiites et sunnites.
(Le Figaro, 19 août 2006)

May 23rd, 2009, 1:38 pm


Akbar Palace said:

It looks good to me and I am glad i won your approval , you can join us and live as equal


What “looks good” to you?

What “approval” are you referring to?

Join who to “live as equal”?

I wonder who is responsible for this piece of crap, the BND, Mossad, or both…?


Isn’t it usually AIPAC?

May 23rd, 2009, 2:20 pm


Shai said:


If Bibi’s Lauder offered Hafez Assad in person all of the Golan in August 1998, can you imagine what Bibi’s “emissaries” are offering Bashar now? 🙂 (I just hope not my house.)
“No preconditions” – hah. He probably meant “No Israeli preconditions.”

May 23rd, 2009, 2:33 pm


Chris said:

Akbar Palace,
Thanks for that Little Green Footballs link in #13 and those maps you directed us to, which of course raises an important point: how often do Palestinian organizations publish maps with Israel on them. Frequently, we will see maps with a non-existent imaginary country referred to as “Palestine.”

Ultimately though, this complaining about posters used to promote tourism is a bit silly. The posters failed to differentiate between Israeli occupied Palestinian territories, Palestinian authority controlled territories, Hamas controlled territories, and Israel proper. These are political nuances which would be useless to your average tourist.

After all, if you want to go to Rachel’s Tomb or Hebron you would have to cross into Israel at some point. If you wanted to go skiing on Mt. Hermon or rafting in the Golan you would most likely fly into Ben Gurion international airport. Shading Shebaa farms, the Golan Heights, the West Bank, Gaza and perhaps even all of Israel on a map for tourists with the label “Disputed Territories” would be useless for tourists. Any inference that these posters for promoting tourism are a diplomatic statement by Israel would be ridiculous.

May 23rd, 2009, 3:39 pm


majid said:

This is a very criminal and sly attempt typical of zionists who continue to hold unopposed the special title of the rejects of humanity.

May 23rd, 2009, 4:44 pm


Off the Wall said:

This advertising campaign has nothing to do with tourism, it is a masked Trojan horse to appropriate history, geography, heritage and even cuisine. The Syrian Embassy did the right thing and they should be applauded for their work, which I suspect was accomplished with little or no financial resources.

On Aljazeera, commenting on the article, many viewed this as a empty meaningless victory. Those complaining know nothing of what most of us see everyday of forgery of the history and theft of culture that goes hand in hand with land appropriation and theft. Just imagine this campaign going unchallenged. Within few weeks, millions of British metro riders would have formed an image of Israel that has no place of Syrian Golan or of Palestinian Gaza or west bank. And any attempt to enforce a land for peace would look like Israel sacrificing for peace, not the other way around. It would be poor Israel being bullied to giving up its land to the “terrorists”. It is the a new battle in the war of innuendo that has nothing whatsoever to do with tourism. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I know a little about advertising campaign and what one does to talk to the subconscious and to plant images of normality that twist reality.

Kudos Embassy, this is very promising and I hope it is sustained.

May 23rd, 2009, 4:49 pm


Shai said:


“Shading Shebaa farms, the Golan Heights, the West Bank, Gaza and perhaps even all of Israel on a map for tourists with the label “Disputed Territories” would be useless for tourists. Any inference that these posters for promoting tourism are a diplomatic statement by Israel would be ridiculous.”

I’m sorry to inform you, but tourists that wish to rent a car at the airport, or in Tel-Aviv, absolutely DO receive such “highlighted” maps, telling them where they can and cannot take their car. No insurance coverage, for instance, is provided in the West Bank. Some rental companies outright forbid entry into the Territories.

Unlike most Israelis, tourists who visit Israel actually seem to understand the situation here far better, recognizing which parts of “The Map of Israel” belong to Israel, and which do not.

May 23rd, 2009, 4:59 pm


Alex said:

Syrian diaspora,

I was trying to be sarcastic : )


So you proved that some British Islamic association or the SSNP have opinions that are not consistent with UN resolutions .. and the poster in the London subway proved that Israel (tourism ministry!) is making a statement against UN resolutions and against the peace process.

Syria is for recognizing Israel within those 67 borders. Ask your right wing friends if they would like to test Syria’s seriousness.

May 23rd, 2009, 5:30 pm


Akbar Palace said:

I’m sorry to inform you, but tourists that wish to rent a car at the airport, or in Tel-Aviv, absolutely DO receive such “highlighted” maps, telling them where they can and cannot take their car. No insurance coverage, for instance, is provided in the West Bank. Some rental companies outright forbid entry into the Territories.


Just FYI, I rented a car at BG airport during my recent trip there. The folks at the Avis rental agency NEVER told me where I could ride and where I couldn’t. I got NO HIGHLIGHTED Map;(. It wasn’t an issue.

In fact, I paid a bit extra for complete coverage where the agent told me “it included everything“. Now, maybe there was fine print, I don’t know. But the issue of where not to go NEVER was mentioned.

The people we visited lived in Efrat, which I think is located in the “West Bank”. We drove all around the West Bank including the ruins of Herodian, a few evil Jewish settlements, Rachel’s tomb, and the tomb or the Patriarchs.


I’m embarrased to say, that the Christians are less concerned with visiting Israel than the Jews are. We’re wimps dude!

This is a very criminal and sly attempt typical of zionists who continue to hold unopposed the special title of the rejects of humanity.


Spoken like a true jihadist rejectionist. Ahmadinejad (and the SC Forum) would be proud.

May 23rd, 2009, 6:39 pm


Shai said:


Of course few rental agents would highlight what you cannot do with the car. But some do. I know this from experience, from hosting friends and colleagues who’ve told me precisely that (being told not to enter the Territories). Just for kicks, I checked out Avis’s site in Israel, and found the following statement:

“Exiting the borders of the country or entering the Palestinian authority’s territory is forbidden.”

Well, at least that. So you were able to drive to your Settler friends’ home in Efrat. But you couldn’t enter Tulkarem, Jenin, or Ramallah, unfortunately. Slowly slowly… Maybe one day “tourists” like yourself will begin to understand where Israel really is, and where it’s not. Your Efrat buddies are residents of stolen land that belongs to the Palestinian people. How did it feel walking along those pretty hills? Did you experience any sense of guilt whatsoever?

As for visitors to Israel, I am saddened to inform you that the overwhelming majority of visitors each year are of the Christian faith, not the Jewish one. It is a true shame – maybe you should start coming over more often? But that, of course, entails a slightly greater risk than perhaps most Jews are willing to endure… I know, I have distant family in the U.S. who’ve never been here, and instead take holiday cruises to Mexico or the Bahamas. But at least they keep sending their “guilt money”. Thank god.

May 23rd, 2009, 7:16 pm


Akbar Palace said:

So you were able to drive to your Settler friends’ home in Efrat. But you couldn’t enter Tulkarem, Jenin, or Ramallah, unfortunately.


Which makes perfect sense. Those areas which are off-limits to Israelis (PA-controlled areas, e.g. Bethlehem), cannot be covered by the rental car agency.

But that still runs counter to your statement:

No insurance coverage, for instance, is provided in the West Bank.

That statement is not true.

It seems to me Shai, you have difficulty accepting the fact that Israel claims part of the West Bank.

Guilt money is a weird thing!

May 23rd, 2009, 9:05 pm


Nour said:


I would urge you not to fall into the trap of comparing between maps excluding the usurping entity and those published by the terrorist state representing its expansionist nature. The people of this land have lived there since the dawn of history and are not required to recognize the legitimacy of an artificial, cancerous entity that is working to eliminate them from existence. Little green footballs and their likes are mere hate-filled wackos who take pleasure in seeing the destruction of another people. “Israel” will never gain legitimacy in this region and it is only a matter of time before the zionist project fails.

May 23rd, 2009, 9:19 pm


Yossi (AKA Rumyal) said:

I guess Stas Misezhnikov, the new Russian Tourist Minister from Lieberman’s party believes in the one state solution, including Gaza. Perhaps he also thinks that if Israel and Palestine became one democratic country then the Syrians will be so ecstatic about it that they will let the new country get the Golan as a token of appreciation.

I agree with OTW’s assessment, what business is there putting a map of a country in vacation ad? Why waste this display real-estate on a map when you can show another dolphin or coral? Somebody is trying to make a statement.

On the rental car question, when I was in Israel a couple of months ago I rented a car from Hagar. The map I received marked area A and B in the west bank, but not area C. Informally what I understood was that area C doesn’t exist—it’s basically part of Israel. Area B is where you need to be cautious and area A is where you aren’t allowed to go. I tried to follow what maps look like these days in Israel. e.g., many restaurant chains print a map on the one-use table cover showing the locations of their branches. The only place I saw had a map that DIDN’T include the West Bank and the Golan was Shipudey Hatikva (HaTikva (hope) skewers). A Mizrahi business from the Hatikva working-class neighborhood of Tel-Aviv (where the labour headquarters are—you know, to get closer to the people). It was interesting to see that a Mizrahi business, where you would expect to see maybe the most nationalistic manifestations, was sensible about depicting Israel’s borders.

When it comes to using maps inside Israel, I think that Chris’s position in sensible. Like it or not from a political stand point, if I’m going to spend a weekend with relatives in the West Bank or in the Golan, I need to be able to know how to drive there, or what bus line gets me there, etc.

The most popular internal tourism site in Israel shows also the West Bank as part of Israel, with special color codes for areas A and B. Gaza is marked as area A (not as a foreign country—e.g., Egypt). The Golan is shown as part of Israel.

They also did something interesting when zooming into the West Bank, apparently towns and villages are included in different scales not based on the population size but based on some other factors, mainly, so it seems, not being Arab. So if the relatively low resolution map you only see Jerusalem and Maale Edomim. When you zoom in more you see all the (tiny) settlements and Beth Lehem. Only if you zoom further in do they show all the Arab villages, towns and refugee camps.

I did some more searching for “map of branches” to see how businesses handle this question.

Here’s a map of the branches of a private school: (shows West Bank and the Golan as part of Israel).

Here’s the map of branches of an agricultural co-op: (ambiguous, all of West Bank and Gaza are marked in a different color, the Golan is even more ambiguous—the map doesn’t even look right there…)

Here’s the list of branches of Avis. West bank and the Golan are part of Israel. Gaza too, but it has a funny dotted line around it (the fence?). Hey this is an international company, you can make a big deal about this!

Burger King Israel has annexed the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan, too.

This could be a fascinating study for someone’s Ph.D….

May 23rd, 2009, 10:23 pm


Alex said:

Hi Yossi,

I totally agree with you … I don’t have a problem with some of the maps for internal use that show all the occupied territories .. there are practical reasons why they need those maps … but the very unnecessary map of Israel on that otherwise professionally designed poster can only be a sign of their intentions … to engrave in the minds of Londoners the image of the occupied territories being part of Israel.

And that might seem like a small detail, but the fact they are paying money to influence how people in London see the occupation, is in my opinion bad news … Israel has no intention of returning those territories.

May 24th, 2009, 3:41 am


Shai said:


What territories? If AP doesn’t see highlighted “territories” on his Avis map, why must you continue to reject the notion that the West Bank is part of Israel?!?


Thanks for the notes. Yes, I do agree with normal maps that show whatever territory Israelis live in, at the moment. But it’s good to see a few maps showing the political truth as well.


I know in your Neocon Education, they taught you to use terms like “That Statement is Not True” (reminds me of O’reilly interviews on FOX), but in the Real World, there are situations you haven’t come across, that are true, and others you have come across where they may not be. Judging from Avis’s Terms, they probably do cover insurance in Efrat, but not in Ramallah. Other companies used by visitors I’ve hosted, did not cover insurance in the West Bank, or at least this is what they stated out loud.

It’s like the Jewish-only Roads. You drove on something that seemed to you like an open-to-everyone road, but in reality there are roads where only Jews drive. Your Settler friends refer to those roads as “Israeli-only Roads”, suggesting thousands of Arab Israelis could easily use them, each and every hour of the day. It would be particularly advantageous if they looked like Polish Jews from Brooklyn, though, and wore a kippa, so that they wouldn’t be targeted by bored Settlers, curious to see who’s driving around their settlements.

You still didn’t answer my question – how was it to visit Efrat? Did you experience ANY sense of guilt whatsoever?

May 24th, 2009, 4:43 am


Yossi (AKA Rumyal) said:


The land that you live on may be as stolen as that of AP’s buddies, the settlers’ crimes are different from the rest of Israel’s only by their being more recent, and not by a whole lot more recent. The only thing they should feel unique guilt about is their sabotaging any chance remaining for a majority Jewish state, something that they say they care about.

May 24th, 2009, 5:32 am


Shai said:


You’ll agree with me that we cannot hope to have a state, if we consider every Israeli a criminal. We must, if we’re to get anywhere, use either the 1948 or 1967 borders as the final borders of the State of Israel. Anything beyond that, is inhabited illegally. Otherwise, the land most of us live on (you included, in the United States), is stolen land!

May 24th, 2009, 6:03 am


Yossi (AKA Rumyal) said:


I disagree. You have made quite a few leaps of reasoning in your assertion.

I did not say that every Israeli is a criminal. I said that criminality was involved in settlement in both areas, probably much more so when considering 48 borders because it involved swift ethnic cleaning, which involved illegal acts based on contemporary Mandatorial law, or subsequent Israeli law. Many settlers on either side of the green line didn’t break the law of their country, which is usually the bar for criminality. The state itself may have broken international law when it authorized settlements in the West bank, but the settlers were mostly following the law of their country (except when they were falsifying land sale documents etc.). Most importantly, most of the crimes (at least within the green lines), where done by our grandfathers, not by us. So no, definitely not all living Israelis are criminals, but many crimes have been done in our name, or for our sake, and there is little point shrieking responsibility if the goal is to learn to live together.

Then, you say that whomever lives beyond 48 lines must be considered a criminal. Why? Based on what law? The only law system that is not totally dubious here is that of Israel, and the law of Israel doesn’t define such settlement activity as illegal. On the contrary. You may wish that it were different, but it’s not.

Yes, most nations have “stolen” their land at some point. The question is how long ago, whether there is anybody you want or need to compensate, and whether you’re trying to hide history as part of your strategy. There is a big difference between owning up to past events and then agreeing on appropriate compensation (which Israel could continue to say needs to be nil), to not owning up to past events at all. If you follow Benny Morris for example, he’d own up to everything that happened in 48, but would offer no compensation.

You believe that the compensation for 48 should probably be monetary, while the compensation for 67 needs to be eviction of settlers and vacating the land. This is a very self serving position. The settlers would tell you, why don’t you vacate the land, and we’ll stay put and provide monetary compensation?

However much I dislike the settlers, I cannot but view the desire to kick them out of their homes as yet another manifestation of an authoritarian good-old-labor-style thinking. Basically it’s a Spartan mentality requiring people to deploy and un-deploy as the government tells them to.

May 24th, 2009, 7:26 am


Off the Wall said:

What major for that excellent Ph.D. idea, political geography, sociology, or perhaps GIS in politics. I like the idea.

You do not need to ask YOSSI only, I also agree wit you. We can not have peace if we are to consider every Israeli a criminal. We also can not have peace if Israel does not stop claiming that every resistance it faces is terrorism. I know you agree with that, but I had to re-iterate it.

The map is placed to be the center of the add. The text is irrelevant, especially considering the add placement location where very few rider would have time to read any of it except perhaps the map and probably a couple of town names. Texts are irrelevant in most advertising posters unless they are few words with a single message that should be retained, like I would look smart if I bought this suite or I would look cool in these glasses. In tourism posters, images are the important things and having long text to read, especially if it is placed for moving readers is a sloppy ad work unless the message is in the image.

In the lower 2/3 of the poster, no matter what text you are reading, the lines guide you to the map, and with the majority of people not well versed in speed-reading, any time you want to read the next line, you have to pause at the map before moving abruptly from right to left. (unlike the smooth move from left to right with the line guiding you as you read), why do you think the map is not placed in the more logical place, the left part of the poster or the upper part, where you need to define the geography of the place you are asking me to visit. This is a master peace work of single message poster. And the message is the Map

you are a master graphics designer, am i making any sense here? Be Brutal my friend.

May 24th, 2009, 7:35 am


Yossi (AKA Rumyal) said:

The map is the focal point of the poster, not only the text points to it, the dolphin points at it too, and the diver looks at it as an exquisite under water find. (I’m no graphic designer…)

The text is too small to be readable. So what you see is “Israel” heading -> map.

May 24th, 2009, 7:54 am


jad said:

I know that you asked Alex and he knows the best, but everything you wrote is right, those are the basic rules for advertising.
And that is my take!! (right Norman)

This might interest you OTW, it’s a bit old but still interesting to see and think about the use of (political geography, sociology, or perhaps GIS in politics)
Yossi’s friend did it………I think it’s a terrible idea though.

May 24th, 2009, 7:57 am


Yossi (AKA Rumyal) said:


The the work I knew about is this one by Eyal Weizman, and he’s not really a close friend—we went to school together. He was a good friend of the brother of a good friend of mine 🙂

(Too much information… I know…)

May 24th, 2009, 8:09 am


Shai said:


I’m not claiming every Israeli after 48 is a criminal, I’m claiming most aren’t. But those who settled in the West Bank and Gaza after 1967 were doing so illegally. Just as in the army we have something called an “illegal order” (and even a harsher version of that – “ba’alil”), so too in civilian life we have illegal orders or encouragements. I don’t buy, for one nanosecond, the excuse so many Israelis give for the Settlers – “They were encouraged to go there… by all governments…” Or of course AP’s belief that we should all get used to the fact that parts of the West Bank (perhaps all of it) belong to Israel. Even Israel doesn’t believe that, for if it did, it would have long ago annexed the entire territory, as it did with the Golan.

The United States ruled a few decades ago in favor of certain Indian populations in various States, to receive control of their native territory. Much control of the State of Maine has been given to… native Indians! And this happened two centuries after it was taken away from them – stolen, if you like. So I don’t think it helps much to continue to discuss the criminality of bringing Jews to pre-1948 Palestine, unless you want to end up in a dead-end not only with hawkish Israelis and Jews, but even with dovish ones (such as myself). I do agree, however, that compensation SHOULD be give to all those Palestinians that were forced out (or fled). That is where it should end, at least for the near future. In the long term, perhaps a few decades from now, when Jews and Arabs finally live together in this region, I would certainly not rule out opening the entire country up, just as European nations do (and of course various States in the U.S.), and enable any Mideast citizen to live and work where he/she so chooses to. That would, in essence, be the final right-of-return for all Palestinians. Some claim, and perhaps correctly, that it would also be the end of a majority Jewish-rule in Israel. It seems that this inevitability is… inevitable.

But Settlers HAVE and ARE partaking in illegal action, by living on what the international community regards as someone else’s territory. According to international law, where I live is Israel. According to the same law, where AP’s buddies live, in Efrat, is NOT in Israel. I’m not a criminal. They are.

By the way, I think it’s a mistake to identify Settler eviction with Labor. If anything Labor should be identified with Settlement creation, building, and encouragement. Right-wing governments haven’t come close to the damage Labor has in terms of settling Jews in the West Bank and Gaza.

Yossi, I reject any kind of comparison to the very-special-case called The Settlers (and of course any kind of sympathy or understanding towards them). They and I have NOTHING in common. They didn’t have to settle Efrat. My grandparents HAD to escape to Palestine.

May 24th, 2009, 9:35 am


Yossi (AKA Rumyal) said:


The clear-cut distinction that you’re trying to make, doesn’t really hold in many many ways. Let’s start from the end-result, which is I believe what you based your entire notion of justice and criminality on. I share your opinion that Israel will not withdraw from 48 borders, not significantly at least. This is a reasonable position in practical terms, especially that it seems like there is a buyer for this position on the other side. To take this pragmatic real-politic stand and to cook out of it all sorts of distinctions about morality and criminality is a stretch.

The settlers of the West Bank didn’t HAVE TO settle the West Bank the same way that 48 settlers didn’t have to blow up abandoned Arab villages and settle their private lands. According to what international law is taking by force private property, driving out or executing its owners and resettling it more legal in any way compared with settling public occupied land.

In addition to that the settlers have a fairly solid case showing that the West Bank is not clear cut occupied territory but rather a disputed territory. You can read about it here. I’m not a lawyer and I don’t know if it holds much water but the point is that the individual settler has enough hooplas to explain what he’s doing, pretty much like those settlers that settled 48 borders beyond the boundaries of the partition plan OR that seized private land.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, there is already a second generation of settlers that were born into this reality without making any decision, pretty much like you and I were born into the reality of 48 borders. There is no law system in the world that can consider them criminals.

What about the 200,000 Jews living in and around East Jerusalem? Are they also criminals, after being raised in a society that annexed this area and pleaded for Jews to populate it? And at the same time it’s clear that those, the most “saintly” of all settlers are maybe the only ones that REALLY have to evacuate in order to establish a Palestinian state with its capital is Jerusalem.

So that summarize, many settlers (not all, of course) should not be considered criminals, and the government, when it will uproot them (and it will, at least some) will create another refugee problem, and there is nothing to glee about that. Your morality over theirs is somewhat arbitrary and it corresponds to the ease at which the state presumes to be able to boss people around.

May 24th, 2009, 4:35 pm


jad said:

I was just kidding in my note that this guy is your friend. He is a graduate student from Rice University in Houston.
I think his idea is unique and original but means to dominate the air over the Palestinians territories when you connect all the settlement which will be a disaster on both human and environment, this is why I think it is terrible if they take it seriously, HOWEVER,if they do it, the Palestinians answer should be this idea

since they will need to use their small leftover lands (island’s like) to the max and come with a most compact and sufficient solutions.
Can you imagine those two urban solutions built together…Palestine will look like star wars set.

May 24th, 2009, 4:39 pm


Off the Wall said:

Good observation (diver and dolphin) I had not noticed that. This is a master piece (not peace as I had written before).

Your answer is as valuable and welcomed. And thanks for the linke. I think the operative sentence in the blog was the last one in wich the author states

Ultimately, this thesis questions the potential absurdity of partition strategies within the West Bank and Gaza Strip by attempting to realize them

And in fact it is absolutely true for the Palestinians to realize sovereignty and to have a normal state under Ehud Barak’s so called generous offer Palestine would look like a star wars set.

I like those floating ecopolis. Yet many concepts are fantastic, until you start thinking of how to power them.

I just recalled a comment made you mentioned a couple of days ago in which you argued that most of the land in Palestine was owned by the mandate government. Mandate governments are forbidden to own lands. They are merely custodians, and they have no right to allocate lands for any purpose other than temporary military installations. Giving the land to jewish immigrant is a violation of the mandate. But when did the white man give a damn. This is now the same BS argument made by settlers and their enablers as they continue the theft of Palestinians land. Occupiers have no land rights what so ever. All settlements are illegal and should be dismantled. No ifs and no buts.

May 24th, 2009, 5:06 pm


Off the Wall said:

In the above mentioned statement, when I talked about BS argument, now, settlers and occupiers, I was talking about the west bank. Just so that you do not go claiming I was calling for dismantling Israel.

May 24th, 2009, 5:14 pm


jad said:

Until they built those gigantic and unrealistic projects the power wouldn’t be a problem, the problem is knowing how to live in those can’t imagine any Israeli or Palestinian would know how to live there. they will destroy it before it is even done since Israelis need to park their TANKS and Palestinians need to build some ROCKET in one of those small apartment, so it wont happen…I was just using those scenario as a showcase of your question “how to use political geography, sociology, or perhaps GIS in politics”

May 24th, 2009, 5:23 pm


jad said:

This is the interview with Adel Imam that is making the news lately.
عادل إمام – واحد من الناس

May 24th, 2009, 5:38 pm


Shai said:


“Your morality over theirs is somewhat arbitrary and it corresponds to the ease at which the state presumes to be able to boss people around.”

You are right, in the sense that I don’t go too deeply into who is and isn’t a criminal (or morally justified in whatever he/she is doing). But I don’t believe my rejection of any sort of comparison between residents of Israel-proper (post 1948) and West Bank settlers (those who chose to move there, not their little children) is indicative of any “ease” of bossing anyone around. I’m not saying the State is not responsible for those settlers – of course it is. I’m not saying throw them in jail – even though in a different world, some of them would have stood trial for certain things they’ve done.

By the way, I also reject the notion that the State bosses people around. At times I WISH it did precisely that – with the Settlers, with road-offenders, with corrupt politicians, with the mafia, and with a whole bunch of other people. The State does quite the opposite of “bossing” anyone around. And that’s why Israel looks the way it does.

I think we’re exhausting this topic, but aside from an academic discussion, I see no benefit in comparing the crime of the creation of the State of Israel (by force, by eviction, by illegal action) that both ended in May of 1948 and received the “blessing” of the international community, and the ongoing Occupation of the Palestinian Territories ever since 1967. You want to argue that my house was built on no more-Jewish land than Efrat was – fine. But we do have to cut the discussion somewhere, and 1948 I believe is the place to do so.

Otherwise, there really will be no chance at ever reaching peace with our neighbors. The ONLY place Israelis can withdraw to, is the 1948 borders. I don’t see many Israelis returning to Iraq, Syria, Morocco, or Poland. Maybe in the future (in’shalla), but not now.

May 24th, 2009, 5:53 pm


majid said:

I watched Adel Imam. He is superb. His views are an example to follow.

He is as good speaking about politics as his great performances on theatre.

Egypt is the leader of the region. No doubt.

May 24th, 2009, 6:29 pm


Off the Wall said:

Dear Jad
When I said i like these space-ships, I was not referring to the Palestinians and Israelis, I was merely exercising my fascination with Science Fiction (huge fan). But you are right, they will never be able to live in these quarters 🙂

May 24th, 2009, 6:29 pm


Yossi (AKA Rumyal) said:


I don’t think that this discussion is purely academic more than Israeli-Palestine peace in general is an academic discussion. (That still doesn’t mean that it is of interest to the folks here… sorry if that’s the case…) What we are talking about has fundamental consequences for the Israeli and Palestinian positions. In light of our discussion, it is evident that the 48 borders are not sacred in any way, not in a moral way, not in a legal way, and not in the public opinion of both peoples. Israel didn’t get the world’s blessing for 48 borders, that’s why no embassies are in West Jerusalem. Israel got much of the world’s blessing for its existence within unsettled borders. To me, it’s not immediately obvious why a deal that calls for the evacuation of Maale Edomim is more moral or more pragmatic than a one calling for the evacuation of Afula and Migdal HaEmek in the Jazreel valley close to Jenin (both sitting on private Palestinian land). It is not obvious to many other Israelis and that is why they think that offers based on 48 borders are disingenuous (because of their arbitrariness). It’s easy to believe that they are a “stage” in the Arabization of all of mandatory Palestine.

I never said that anybody has to go “back” to anywhere, quite the contrary—I believe that a guiding principle should be that everybody has at least the chance to stay put where they are (which may end up being in a different country), and everybody has a chance to retain their current citizenship.

These questions are all related to the fate of the Arab areas adjacent to the West bank, too. The fate of the land and the fate of the people.

You’d find it very difficult to apply your principles selectively, that’s because your principles are not very principled 🙂

May 24th, 2009, 6:52 pm


majid said:

So you’re fan of science fiction? Why didn’t you say that before?

A new space colony design wins NASA contest.

I find this an ideal solution to the fullfilment of the zionist dream of the land without people to the people without land.

Looking at it from a different perspective, it will give us an earth without zionists for humanity to finally achieve its full potential free of all the primitive shackles. Those Canadians are great, aren’t they?

May 24th, 2009, 6:52 pm


norman said:


Did you see the new Star Trek movie,?.

May 24th, 2009, 7:20 pm


Alex said:

OTW, Yossi, Jad

I agree with all of you … the poster’s center is the map and .. Israel. I will add the following: The bright yellow map stands out from the rest which is mostly dark blue .. they did not chose a day scene … they choose a dark under water scene.

OTW … the only part where I might disagree with you is that I would still place the map at the bottom right corner for a nice page layout regardless of other side benefits (text pointing to it)

But this whole thing reminded me of the number of articles that suddenly appeared about the Israeli Golan Heights and its cowboys … this year

An old cowhand from the Holy land:

Home, home on the Heights
Cowboys of the Golan deal with minefields, military maneuvers. But theywouldn’t trade it for anything.

And of course you have the Israeli ministry of tourism:

The tab for this page reads; “The Golan Height (Israel)”

May 24th, 2009, 7:55 pm


norman said:

Most people are less than 50 years old and do not know what Israel looked like or what it should look like , keep repeating a lie and people will believe it and that is the idea behind the map , to make people accept Israel with it’s current borders , as long as we are not making a big fuss about our rights and occupied land and fighting for them , nobody will care and Israel will become as the map says.

And that is my take,

May 24th, 2009, 10:19 pm


Off the Wall said:

I am a big fan of well done work written or visual but not of conventions and memorabilia.

That was quite an impressive young futurist you linked to. It is astounding to see minds like that at so young of an age.

I have a different set of occupants for Asten, let us take all of those who designed some of the financial products that led to this catastrophe, and send them there. Their annual bonuses should cover the 500+ billion dollars cost and they can be kept busy working so that they do not continue to devise anything financial.

Thanks for the answer. I see your point regarding map lay out, and I think we all agree that every bit of the poster leads to the map.

Not yet, do you know if it is any good?.

May 24th, 2009, 10:22 pm


norman said:


i liked it

May 24th, 2009, 10:37 pm


majid said:

Please don’t fall into that trap. Asten is best suited for the zionists. Ghawar has to give his dad a good and truthful answer.

We’ll always cheer the Canucks.

This is for you lest you forget, or anyone else under 50 may find that an execuse to do so:

You can also watch similar videos from the right hand side of that page.

May 25th, 2009, 12:44 am


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