Monday, September 20, 2010

World Bank: Israel is a state without a region (updated)

At the World Bank site, they divide up the world into regions to make it easy to find the country you are looking for information on.

One of the regions is the Middle East and North Africa. Here's the drop-down list of countries there:

A country seems to be missing. Wait, maybe it is listed in one of their Public Information Centers?

Nope, not there.

Israel does have a page and various reports, and within the Israel page it looks like it might be a part of Middle East and North Africa:
Besides the fact that the link to what is supposed to be the Israeli flag is broken, the navigation on this page is not true - you cannot get to this page from Home >Countries > Middle East and North Africa.

On this page, they do say

The MENA Region includes: Algeria | Bahrain | Djibouti | Egypt | Iran | Iraq | Israel | Jordan
Kuwait | Lebanon | Libya | Malta | Morocco | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria
Tunisia | United Arab Emirates | West Bank and Gaza | Yemen

But their PDF snapshot of the area makes clear that Israel is not in their list of countries of that region.

Isn't that interesting?

UPDATE: When you zoom in on the map of the region, you can see that Israel is explicitly excluded (the white lines of the border take up almost the entire area of Israel but a smidgen of yellow in the Negev shows that Israel is not one of the countries they consider part of MENA):
(h/t Jeanette and Samson)