Saturday, December 10, 2011

Qatar Depicts "Palestine" as West Bank and Gaza

Maps of Israel and Palestine are touchy subjects. Partisans tend to get angry at maps which don't depict the land in question in the form they like. Sometimes, this leads to hilarity, as when the Palestine Solidarity Committee complained about an Israeli map which did not separate out Israel from the West Bank and Gaza ... same as the PSC's own logo which also presents the territory undivided. Or when a flight to Tel Aviv didn't include Israel on its inflight map, and instead told bewildered passengers they were going to Mecca.

In any event, at the 2011 Arab Games in Doha, "Palestine" was depicted as consisting of the West Bank and Gaza. Which to my mind is a positive development -- building a consensus around two-states is always a good thing, and it's particularly good coming from a nation that currently does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Of course, I heard about it from a very upset blogger at Electronic Intifada -- the "upset" part is unsurprising, since EI is a critical player in the irredentist faction of Palestinian politics. Not being a fan of either Jewish or Palestinian irredentism, though, I'm glad on the occasions where I can see it marginalized.

So good on Qatar. While who controls what particular patch of land will ultimately be decided by negotiations, in broad strokes there is no solution but one predicated on 1967 borders with agreed-upon swaps. The more people who endorse that basic vision, the better off we are. It was gratifying to see a majority of Palestinians endorse that vision this past April, and it's gratifying to see Qatar sign on as well.

No comments: