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April 26, 1991 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-04-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Numerous maps showing
"the Holy Land" have ap-
peared since the inception of
cartography, the science of
map-making.
Four maps of Eretz Yisrael
survive from classical times.
Of these, only the Madaba
map is in original form. A
mosaic taken from a church
in Madaba, Jordan, the map
also shows Egypt, the Sinai
and southern Syria.
Throughout the Middle
Ages, Eretz Yisrael was the
chief subject of map makers.
World maps, created by
monks, were based on the
Bible and often included
"Paradise" as a real,
physical location. Created to
serve as guidelines for the
Crusaders, the maps showed
Eretz Yisrael as larger than
life.
More reliable were the por-
tolano (coastline) maps, used
by navigators- throughout
the Middle Ages. Here, Eretz
Yisrael is shown to size,
often with intricate detail
including churches and
monasteries.
With increased knowledge

7. Britain's Mandate for Palestine.

8. The British Mandate, with
administrative changes, 1921.

9. The 1947 U.N. partition plan. The
dark areas would be home to the
Jewish state, the white areas would
be the Arab state. Jerusalem, in the
center, would be international.

28

FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 1991

about world geography,
Eretz Yisrael began appear-
ing less frequently as the
center of all maps. But maps
of the area remained the
most popular and were often
historical in nature. Unlike
most other regions, Eretz
Yisrael continued to be por-
trayed complete with
biblical sites.
In the 18th and 19th cen-
turies, explorers poured into
Eretz Yisrael. Consequently,
maps began to reflect the
area's topography and
geographic characteristics.
Among the maps from this
period is one focusing on the
Dead Sea and Jordan River,
produced by an American
naval expedition.
Late in the 19th century,
Britain's Palestine Explora-
tion Fund created a complete
survey of Eretz Yisrael with
an exact outline of the area.

It was followed by surveys
focusing on Jerusalem and a
map making journey led by
Lord Kitchener.

A

rab maps from the
Middle Ages were
often the most com-
plete and accurate, showing
Eretz Yisrael with no
particular prominence.
Today, it would appear
most Arab states think
Israel does not exist.
Israel is shown on official
maps from Egypt, the only
Arab nation with which
Israel has a peace treaty.
That treaty was achieved in
1979 after Israel returned
the Sinai Desert, captured
from Egypt in 1967.
But Israel is conspicuously
absent on maps from Syria.
(See map 5)
Syria has yet to recognize
Israel's right to exist and
demands its withdrawal
from all territory won in
wars.

Its most frequent point of
contention is the 500-square-
mile Golan Heights. Syrian
officials call the area "the
occupied Syria Arab Golan."
Israel also appears to be
missing from Jordanian
maps. A spokesman for the
Jordanian embassy said the
- country has no official maps,
but travel maps and bro-
chures from the Hashemite
kingdom do not show Israel
as a state.
A 1962 Jordanian tourist
map includes Israeli ter-
ritory, but makes no men-
tion of the state. Jerusalem
is shown to be Jordanian
territory. Similarly, a 1981
travel book of Jordan,
written by Christine
Osborne and published in
Great Britain, does not show
Israel and includes the West
Bank and Jerusalem as part
of Jordan on its map. The
book features a chapter on
"East Jerusalem and the
West Bank" and an in-
troduction by Jordan's
Queen Noor, who assures
readers that "Jordanians
are probably the kindest and

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