(1) The U.S. Department of State has a web page for each country with which it has diplomatic relations, complete with a map. Oddly, the map on the Saudi Arabian page names every country in its neighborhood, even tiny Bahrain, but lacks the name "Israel." (2) In early October, the department for the first time added websites to its listing of "foreign terrorist organizations." Oddly again, the only terrorist websites it could locate were www.newkach.org, www.kahane.org, www.kahane.net, and www.kahanetzadak.com. It appears that State has not overcome its long-standing problem with Israel. (October 15, 2003)
Oct. 23, 2003 update: The map on the Saudi Arabian page is now changed and it includes a small, almost illegible "IS" next to Israel.
Nov. 5, 2003 update: A reader points out that the "Digital Mapping, Charting and Geodesy Analysis Program" at the Naval Research Laboratory also has an Israel problem. See it for yourself by going to http://columbo.nrlssc.navy.mil/dmap/servlet/WebToolServlet, clicking "Region" at the top left, clicking "zoom to country," picking Israel, then clicking on the 50 mile view. The map that turns up shows the whole gang – Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt – but not Israel. The next map, showing a 25-mile view, finds the West Bank joining the party but still no Israel. Lo and behold, Israel finally turns up at the 15-mile view. The reader who discovered this little absence writes: "After 18 months of repeated trouble tickets …, I was unable to get any correction to this problem. The explanation I was given was that the data is derived from local sources and no one knows how to change it. I even pointed out that the United States is officially not recognizing an allied country or its capital. But there has never been a solution offered."