Greater Israel on a Can


One dispiriting aspect of the Middle East conflict is the seeming inability of Palestinian textbook writers to publish maps that depict Israel in its internationally-recognized 1967 borders. Israel and its supporters rightly complain that Palestinian depictions of their future state as encompassing all the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River subvert the idea of a two-state solution, and that these sorts of propaganda efforts betray the true intention of the Palestinians, which is to work for Israel's disappearance and replacement with an Arab state.

But, as Andrew Sullivan suggests, rightly (when he's right, he's right), Palestinians aren't the only ones who publish maps that subvert the idea of a two-state solution. Click here to see the photograph of a Jewish National Fund pushke, a modern version of the age-old Jewish fund-raising device. The map on the JNF collection can depicts the West Bank as indivisibly part of Israel. A two-state solution, an idea to which the current, Likud Party prime minister says he is committed, would of course mean that most of the West Bank would be within the territory of Palestine. If I were a Palestinian looking at this collection can, I might ask myself if the Israelis are actually committed to the idea of territorial compromise.

It is correct for Israelis to raise questions about Palestinian map-making, but this is a street that runs both ways. It is not just the JNF that does this: I've seen many maps in Israel that efface the Green Line separating the pre-1967 state from the West Bank. The point of maximalist map-drawing, of course, is to regularize the ideas of extremists on both sides of the divide. Of course, extremists on both sides don't need much help these days in seeing their ideas become mainstream.

Presented by

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.

Elsewhere on the web


The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.


How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe


A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.


I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."


Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion



More in Global

From This Author

Just In