Wednesday, October 5th | 10 Tishri 5783

June 26, 2017 3:16 pm

New York Times Marks Six-Day War Anniversary With Jerusalem Map Obliterating Jewish Presence

avatar by Ira Stoll


Whatever one makes of the long news article the New York Times ran out under the headline “50 Years After War, East Jerusalem Palestinians Confront a Life Divided,” the maps that appeared along with it are just indefensible.

They look like someone forgot to proofread them, or as if they were lifted from some flunking high-school student’s geography term paper.

The maps that appeared in the New York Times. Photo: Screenshot.

One map features a red square labeled “Damascus Gate” floating what appears to be nearly an eighth of a mile away from the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. It makes it appear, inaccurately, as if the “gate” is a freestanding attraction rather than an entrance to the Old City.

The same map features a depiction of the Old City with the “Muslim Quarter” and “Al Aqsa Mosque” labeled — but with no label showing the Jewish Quarter or the Western Wall. It’s as if either the cartographer started doing the map project with the Muslim sites, then got bored and took a break and forgot to finish, or as if there’s an effort deliberately to obliterate all trace of Jewish connection to the Old City.

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A second map, beneath the other one, features a label pointing to what the Times calls “Mt. Olive.” The place the Times is trying to communicate about is the “Mount of Olives.”

These kinds of sloppy errors mount up — like a proverbial mountain of olives. All of them — olive ‘em? — create the distinct impression that the Times doesn’t quite have an accurate handle of the geography or history of Jerusalem.

This is especially true when such “lost in Jerusalem” errors happen again and again and again, rather than being rare or isolated. I’d say that the newspaper is capable of doing better, but I am beginning to have my doubts.

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

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