Saturday, February 23, 2008
Monopoly & Israel: How Appropriate
There is an Arabic proverb that says “Iza lam tastahee faf3al ma she’t” (If you are not deterred by shame then do as you please). This proverb accurately describes Israel’s actions in Palestine today. In the case of Israel, the deterrent is not so much shame as much as it is the blind and biased consent and approval of a world that is robbed of its will to do what is right, legal and just when it comes to the Palestinians.
In its violation of Palestinian land and the lives of all Palestinians, Israel has mastered the game of Monopoly. It has continuously attempted to monopolize everything Palestinian, be it cultural, culinary, heritage, you name it. How Humus and falalfel became Israeli national dishes beats me!!! The traditional Palestinian embroidery suddenly found itself adorning hostesses in the cabins of El-Al airlines. Even the dog known as Canaan dog, or as it is commonly known as “baladi”, is now documented as “Israeli desert dog”!!!! The list goes on and on. The encroachment over the cultural heritage of the people it occupies is somewhat understandable. What else could the borrowed people of Israel show for themselves in terms of history and tradition without revealing how Spanish, Russian, French, Iraqi, Hungarian, Polish, Moroccan, or German they are?
This brings me to the topic of this post: Monopoly, the game some of us grew up playing. The game that got us acquainted with all the landmarks of the city of London without even stepping foot there. The game that introduced us very early on to our entrepreneurial side without even knowing the meaning of the word entrepreneurship. Now Israel has encroached itself onto this game as well.
You see Monopoly is planning to introduce an international version of the game. In an attempt to have people vote on their favorite city choices, they listed cities with corresponding countries. The city of Jerusalem was listed by ignorance and lack of knowing better as Jerusalem, Israel. When the error in referring Jerusalem to Israel was brought up by Pro-Palestinian groups, Hasbro, the mother company of Monopoly, rightfully removed the reference to Israel. This was enough to mobilize all the powers of denial in Israel in motion. These same powers are the people who fully know and understand that Jerusalem is and has always been legally deemed by the United Nations and the whole world as illegally occupied by Israel. Still they are in denial and they want the whole world to join them in this denial too.
The latest in this saga is that Hasbro has issued an apology to Israel. How ironic! The reference to Israel was correctly removed by an employee whose motivation is the accurate portrayal of facts. Little did this employee know that the higher up he or she gets in the echelon of his or her company, the little need there is for truth and the more need there is for playing dirty politics.
Hasbro and Jerusalem: How inappropriate!!!