Saturday, December 10, 2011

J:okay, tell me
it doesnt show up on google maps
J: yeah
M:oh weird
han gon
what it close to?
M: oy
if you type in tel aviv first
then ramallah
it'll find it
J:oh, okay
M: today i'm going to bethlehem
J: cool
is ramallah in israel
cu zthats what popped up
M: nah
it's the occupied palestinian territories
someday google will get it right
if you ask someone from bethlehem where they're from, they'll say palestine
J: hmm
i see
whats it near?
M: ramallah?
it's near jerusalem
J: ok
M: hmmmmm
k, so in a nutshell
you can see the west bank divided from israel if you google image it
the west bank is under israeli military occupation
so its status is "disputed"
when i'm in the west bank, i say i'm in palestine
cause that's what the people who live here, the palestinians, call it
J: the weskbank like - across the mississippi?
M: hahaha
same name

Dammit Google Maps!

Here's the illegal Israeli settlement of Eli, near Ramallah, and here is the Palestinian village of Luban Sharqia, where my friend Nancy lives. Eli has street names, and a shopping center, and a swimming pool. Luban Sharqia is a gray blob, as is the considerably larger village to the north. Obviously, Eli has PR people who are solely focused on legitimization. And the people of Luban Sharqia just want to live on their land. Wait, they need a PR firm for that? It's easy to see how people don't venture into the topic of Israel/Palestine have the impressions that they have. Palestinian PR is so behind in funding and development, that the information is only available to people who actively seek it out.

We need to get Al Aqaba on the map, it's just an empty space next to Tayasir. But now the city of Aqqaba is Aqaba, so I think my Couch Surfing correspondence has had some misleading effect...oy.