Sunday, August 10, 2008

Guess what country is the "Holy Land" to NBC?

The NBC Olympics site has brief country descriptions. Some are briefer than others.

Here is the description of Israel:
Located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea and is bordered to the west by Egypt, to the east by Syria and Jordan, and to the north by Lebanon. Proclaimed its independence in 1948 as the state of Israel.
But check out the more expansive description of "Palestine":
Often called the "Holy Land." A historic region of southwest Asia between the eastern Mediterranean shore and the Jordan River, comprising parts of modern Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. Israel has handed most of the Gaza Strip and seven West Bank population centers to Palestinian rule under a process set in motion by the historic Israel-PLO peace deal in 1993.

In the late 1990s, the PLO and Israel agreed to expand The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), headed by Yasser Arafat, was founded in 1964 and is recognized by the United Nations as the government of the Palestinians. After a three-year hiatus, negotiations to determine the future of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank began in September 1999 but were cut off in September 2000 after violence broke out in both regions.

In April 2003, United Nations, European Union, United States and Russian officials announced the "Road Map to Peace," which outlined the steps that Israel and Palestinian authorities would have to take to achieve peace - including the creation of an independent Palestinian state - by 2005. The path was stymied along the way, as Palestinian authorities were unable to stop anti-Israeli terrorism and Israel's military struck back against Palestinians with force. But in 2005, all Israeli settlers were evacuated from the Gaza Strip and control was transferred to the Palestinian Authority.

So "Palestine" is the "Holy Land" while Israel is just some country that started in 1948 and has no history at all. And I I didn't know that "Palestine" claims some land in modern Jordan and Egypt; I wonder which parts?

(Other Arab countries have more expansive descriptions, but curiously all the descriptions of the Gulf nations seem to revolve around the US and Iraq.)