Daily Archives: Monday, 2 November, 2009

Map of Palestine as Archipelago

I’ll be back to this map again later, but in the meantime, here’s the post from another WordPress blog where I got the map.


What Mr. Bousac’s imaginary map does quite neatly is illustrate that while there are countries in the world made up of pieces of land as divided as those parts of the West Bank currently under Palestinian control, there are none that are not real archipelagos, surrounded by water, rather than by parts of another state.

Since some degree of fragmentation is a feature of many of the maps proposed by Israeli governments in recent years for the shape of a Palestinian state, it seems important to ask what chance a country with this landlocked archipelago shape really has of becoming a viable nation-state. Mr. Bousac’s illustration, like the real map it is based on, also puts some of the failure of the Palestinian Authority to function more like a state since the Oslo Accords were signed into context.

This leaves aside the more obvious problem that the biggest island in a Palestinian archipelago is the Gaza Strip, which is completely cut off from the West Bank. In a fascinating essay in the Abu Dhabi newspaper The National, the Indian writer Pankaj Mishra looked at parallel in the recent histories of Israel and India, and that prompts the thought that we have seen an attempt to create one country out of two isolated territories in the past — in the form of Pakistan, which originally included the mass of territory that eventually broke away to become the separate country of Bangladesh. That history, unfortunately, does little to support the idea that a similarly divided Palestinian state will have an easy time developing into one country.


Filed under arab, arabist, outrages