The World According to Israel

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After the Arab Spring update, the Mapping Stereotypes project finally enters the realm of astronomy.

This chart finally delivers a crushing blow to the lunatic theory that Israel is round and rotates around the Sun. The country is just too important to be bent into a sphere and tossed around in space.

I actually truly believe this is the mental image that most Israeli politicians have of the world. The paranoia that drives them literary smells of early antiquity. In case you don’t know, that was the time when the Earth was flat and what happened outside your own borders mattered only when it came to military threats. Your land was divine, your city was the only one worth living in, your buddies were the only fun guys in the universe and your women – excuse the sexist cliche – the most shagadelic.

Of course, with several important inventions throughout the ages, humanity managed to move forward. Borders dissolved, people started to move around, America was “discovered” etc. Unfortunately, I think that Israeli politicians spent all this time in cryogenic stasis. When they were defrosted in the middle of the 20th Century, they just continued doing what they did best – being adolescent, provincial kings, pursuing their policies with total disregard for the rest of the world.

This is why, strictly speaking, there is no actual Earth on this map. Only the state of Israel. Around its flat holy surface revolve 8 planets. And far away, in the cold recesses of the Oort cloud, lurks Iran.

34 comments on “The World According to Israel

  • hmm….. Have you ever actually been to Israel? (I have.) Sure, Israel sometimes does act a little (too often a lot) self centered, but they are one of the few countries in the world who receive death threats on a daily basis. I’m not trying to make excuses for some of the unjust policies that Israel has imposed on the Arabs in the West Bank, but before you start making maps about Israel’s worldview you should try to understand the whole situation.

  • This is funny, but I must say that the Israelocentric view is shared by many non-Israelis as well, including many of our haters. 
    With the obsessive coverage that Israel receives in the news, the average people are convinced that our country is much bigger than it really is, and until the Arab Spring, they had thought that we are the only problem in the Middle East… 
    To that one should add the religious factors that drive many people to believe that the so-called Holy Land is more important than other places. 

  • Hey Alphadesigner, I actually agree with your map –  But it’s true for every country out there. An American president dosen’t view his country as the center of the world? Some Asians might disagree. China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India. They can see their region as the center too. 
    Oh and you right again when you say we live in antiquity and parania (Warning politics) – We can’t pass the border without being linched. Syria is hostile, Lebanon too, In Egypt the people hate us and there is no real goverment. In Jordan there is a goverment but the people still hate. The only way we communicate with the world is by air or sea. No land trade. Consider this: The entire area is Arab – wer’e not. The entire area is Muslim – wer’e not. We are here because it wasn’t always Arab or Muslim. And we were here back then. We had a country here back then. And now wer’e back.

    • That’s not true for every country, only for those countries who are powerful enough to be arrogant. The rest want to be arrogant but can’t afford the luxury. :) But joke aside, that’s exactly what my project is dedicated to – bigoted regionalism, no matter where it comes from. That’s why there are other maps besides the Israeli one.
      Even though what I called “tribal” thinking has its roots everywhere, I think humanity should really make an effort to break away from it. The modern world is just too small for such thinking to still reign supreme. The weapons we have developed are deadlier than ever. If 2000 years ago war was accepted as a fact of life which is unavoidable, today it represents a real threat, to all our civilizations. In a sense, there are no reagional conflicts anymore, regardless of the part of the world they take place, we’re all affected.It’s pretty much like global warming – at the times of ancient Egypt people didn’t have to worry about it because our impact on the planet was so insignificant. But today it’s considered unacceptable for somebody to address global warming with the thinking of an Egyptian pharaoh.I really wish Israel and the Arab states will find the right equilibrium and I’m an optimist in the long term about it. All it takes is less arrogance, from both sides. It’s as simple as it sounds.

      • So, if you were to draw a map of Israel and the Arab states, and the equilibrium you propose, how would it look?
        I understand you’re trying to draw criticism, but do you really not see how you’re singling out Israel out of all the countries in the world?
        Sure, the other maps are funny, critical and perhaps biting.
        But your explanation suggests that Israel is like USA, or any other powerful empire that over-simplifies the world.
        We know that isn’t the case. In the huge span of land that is Middle East and North Africa, a tiny dot draws more attention than all it surrounding neighbours combined and is criticized more harshly and far more often than all of them combined.

  • What is for me annoying about this map is that all other maps you created are humoristic and "light", but the one you created on Israel will make you laugh only if you are politically critical of Israel to the extent that you cannot show the slightest empathy with its people, and understanding to the complex reality in which they live and operates as successful and liberal people whose average integration in the world is much higher than most western countries. There's something about Israel that stimulated heavy negative emotions in you, it's clear. In your replies here you also demonstrated quite extreme positions on Israel, and I think that it's a pity that in light of your heavy prejudice you didn't prefer to let someone else make "The world according to Israel" map, or to not make any such map at all.

    • I think the problem here is the level of polarization in some people's opinions (supporters of Israel or foes). Both sides take themselves so seriously that any level of self irony is considered a sign of weakness and humiliation. Therefore, they take everything as an insult, even when there are no actual insults at all.

      It's profoundly stunning to see how skewed your perspective can be when you don't even take the time to acknowledge the mountain of insults that the previous commenter left, all of which were meant quite seriously. You also didn't acknowledge my gesture to keep those comments on this page and not delete them, ridiculous as they are. Instead, you prefer to feel attacked by a funny drawing which puts Israel in the center of the universe and displays Iran as a comet. How insulting indeed! Much more insulting than labels like "Straight homos" for Italy, "Retards" for Bulgaria, "Paranoid Oil Empire" for Russia, "Baklava Pussy" for Turkey, "Dirty Porn" for Germany, etc.

      Here's a little advice from me to you and all the paranoid Israelis PLUS all the indoctrinated Palestinian fanatics – learn how to smile. Then the world won't feel that threatening and the rest of humanity won't have to listen to your constant tribal quarrels about what is holy to whom and who has the right to live on a dusty speck of land. There are about 6.7 billion people that need a fucking break from your hysterical obsessions.

      • Hey,
        First I appreciate your reply. I did not argue that your map of Israel was insulting, and I don't really understand why (and how exactly) I should express gratitude to your liberal editing policy. Of course I don't agree with the "pro-Israeli insults" you received, nor with comments that were made here dismissing anti-Semitism because of semantics. I was simply making my own comment, that your map of "The world according to Israel" does make me uncomfortable. I am Israeli. I don't know if you met many Israelis before but we have a pretty developed (and honestly quite sick) sense of humor, we make fun of ourselves perhaps more than the acceptable in other nations (even holocaust jokes are very popular in Israel…). I would really want to see "the world according to Israel" in the same way that you made maps with common stereotypes for other countries and groups. Israelis also have stereotypes on other countries and I'm sure you'll find many Israelis that can assist you in exposing them in such a map. This would be awesome and quite funny, even if it will be critical (I would put all Europe in such a map under "Antisemites").
        As I wrote, when you chose to show a different map of Israel, that is more focused on political criticism on the Israeli leadership and not on stereotypes prevailing among Israelis, you also chose to single Israel out, to put it in a different light than other nations. In your comments you also show some of the reasons why you did this – you think that Israelis are self-centered (who isn't?), but also paranoid and obsessed with holiness and their political rights. I don't know if you know many Israelis or visited Israel before, but again – Israelis are not that serious and can surely make fun of themselves, to a disturbing extent.. (they however damn serious when it comes to threat about their existence, which are many and real). And as one of them, I'm telling you that we would love to see "the world according to Israel" and not "the world according to how others see Israel's politics in the international scene".

        • Thanks for clarifying this. First of all, I would like to note that I don't include all Israelis in my criticism, even when I criticize with a serious tone. Doing so would clearly be an act of prejudice. This is why in my text below the map I spoke about "Israeli politicians". I certainly don't think all Israelis are self-centered, there are many among you who are more critical to your political class than I am and those people don't let themselves being fooled by populism, propaganda or fearmongering. Those are people who I respect from the bottom of my heart and this map doesn't have anything to do with them.

          I am a huge fan of Jewish humor in general. I know how peppered and spicy it can be and this is precisely why I get so deeply disappointed when I see it neutralized by blind ideology. It takes a really stunning level of paranoia to suffocate something so profoundly characteristic for the Jewish psyche like the ability to satirize pain and suffering. And it's so sad.

          Having said all this, I know that this map is different but you also have to understand that my goal has always been less about consistency and more about the moment and the expression of ideas. It's true that most maps follow a common approach but there are many which people can perceive as being "out of place" because they don't fit in the national stereotype concept – like the maps of the Arab Spring, or those of Europe according to gays and Silvio Berlusconi. Or even the caricature of the map of Cyprus, which satirizes the political divisions of the island without even resorting to a single textual label.

          I understand your desire to see a less abstract map of the world according to Israel and I agree it would be a nice idea but I am not the type of artist who constantly asks himself what would people expect to see. Maybe someday it will become a reality. But in general, I act by instinct and it so happened that the recent political tension between Israel and Iran inspired this particular map, just like the outcome of the Arab Spring inspired the map of the Arab Winter. It is what it is, nothing personal.

          • Eventually it's your full write to create your art however you want to. I would not make what you did since I do not believe that it's representative of anything in Israeli culture or politics, and I also don't find it particularly funny, witty or enlightening. It's definitely not what the title suggests it is. I'm definitely not saying that you should do what people expect you to do, but you didn't deliver here what you promised, and looking at other similar pieces you created, Israel is singled out in a negative way, and it's a pity since Israelis don't deserve it. They deserve to be made fun of just like anyone else :)

            I am in some aspects critical of Israel's current policies in the Middle East conflict (I want to see Israel more active in peace seeking and I'm against Israel continuing building settlements), but I definitely don't share your harsh views. Israel faces real threatening situations and its citizens are constantly under attack by forces that do not seek freedom or liberation but seek Israel's destruction and are influenced by radical religious and national ideologies. The Jewish people is entitled to be sovereign in its own land just like any other nation, and the Palestinians deserve this as well and I hope that they will get a country next to Israel soon. Israel does, however, have good and valid reasons to continue its control over the West Bank and to act militarily against terrorism (and it is doing so with the biggest care probably ever demonstrated to human lives among "enemies". No country that ever faced such attacks did more efforts to safeguard civilians in its war on terror).
            Israel is not a self-centered paranoid nation – it's a nation that despite facing huge threats managed to build a successful, advanced and liberal society that no other country in the Middle East can currently dream of achieving. This is a huge accomplishment and Israelis can and should be proud in what they have created and maintained despite constant wars and despite operating in a very hostile environment.

            • You're free to dislike this map but one thing cannot be denied – it's a map which doesn't contain insults, even from a satirical point of view. I think the fact that you perceive it the opposite way speaks well enough.

              I would again remind you that the project is centered on prejudices and stereotypes, not nice and flattering compliments or outbursts of gentle affection. It's quite unlikely that any state on any map will be presented in a good light, so drawing serious conclusions from the way Israel is labelled on the other maps is not only taking things out of context, it's a quite paranoid reaction.

              But it's a reaction that's sometimes inevitable. And I've been blamed that I hate Sicily, that I am intentionally Anti-Polish, that I despise Greeks, that I am unfair to Spain, not to mention the amount of insults I had to endure for labeling Saudi Arabia "Uncle Allah" which started from the regular infidel insults and ended with curses to the whole system of democracy that allows artists like me to frivolously offend the supreme deity of some ever so-important Muslim people.

              My answer is always the same – grow up and stop thinking the world revolves around you. Because the people who complain that I singled out their own country always suffer from the same type of self-absorption, which I find extremely immature and which, in reality, is the main object of my entire satirical project.

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