The Cartographer of Neverland

inspired by a Qatar funded-map, in a Brooklyn
public school, that erases Israel

I’m late, so please forgive if I’m abrupt.
I have to wrap this map up for Qatar.
They’ve asked me to remake the world on paper
And edit one small country into vapor.
Why not? They pay me cash. Am I corrupt
To sell off lands like beads in a bazaar?

Meh. That’s my job. A post-modern Mercator.
So make an offer. I’ll remake the world.
But I have standards. Fiction will not stand.
No Middle Earth or Dune or Neverland.
Just indicate whose flag should be refurled
And poof!—that country sinks into a crater.

If you would like to change who won past wars,
Dead nations resurrected, call on me.
Nix Gettysburg—the South shall rise again!
The Germans can regain Alsace-Lorraine!
Make Mexico a Spanish colony;
Give Portugal and Spain back to the Moors.

I’ll fill-in places that have never been:
The State of Jefferson, or Deseret,
Or places warped by time like North Rhodesia
Or Yugoslavia. I claim amnesia
And countries vanish. Not with open threat—
Just propaganda, Soros mobs, and spin.

Take Israel—that’s a place some damn a lot.
Those Zionists sure generate woke hate!
Qatar told me to change its borderline
And swap it out for Arab Palestine.
My skills have thus annulled the Jewish state.
It’s now as mythical as Camelot.

Faux “Palestine” from Coast to Galilee!
The Middle East is now at last Jew-free.
Look, I’m not stupid. I know it’s not true.
It’s simply what Qatar pays me to do:
Show Israel gone from River to the Sea—
A map to stroke the woke’s insanity.



A Very Good Year

Since people get to say what’s fake is real
I’ll join them on that train until it crashes.
The calendar says what I want. I feel
It’s 1910—before the Great War smashes
All innocence, ere cultured nations reel
From anarchy, and hope is burned to ashes.

You’ll find me in some town like Bedford Falls
Or Grover’s Corners, maybe even Yonkers.
I’m happy in a tux or overalls
Safe in a time that doesn’t drive me bonkers.
I need not genuflect to what appalls
Nor stress about which evil credo conquers.

I drive a Model T, sport a pince-nez.
Houdini entertains with sleight of hand;
Each Shriner that I meet still wears a fez
And William Howard Taft is in command.
I snicker at the things Will Rogers says
And dance to “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.”

The films are silent, vaudeville is the rage,
The newest star of baseball is Babe Ruth,
And Hearst approves what news makes the front page.
While William Jennings Bryan speaks God’s truth,
I hear Caruso sing Bizet on stage
As newly-founded Boy Scouts lead our youth.

But can I change the future from the past?
Prevent the murder of the Habsburg heir?
Keep soldiers’ lungs from being poison-gassed?
Convince the world that communists don’t care;
That Einstein leads to Hiroshima’s blast;
That Ford and Carnegie will blight the air?

I long to spare the Romanovs their fate
And steer Titanic through a different route;
Ensure that Hitler cannot publish hate,
That Mao and Stalin get no voice to shout…
But I’m Cassandra—up on every date
Yet powerless to change how things turn out.



Brian Yapko is a retired lawyer whose poetry has appeared in over fifty journals.  He is the winner of the 2023 SCP International Poetry Competition. Brian is also the author of several short stories, the science fiction novel El Nuevo Mundo and the gothic archaeological novel  Bleeding Stone.  He lives in Wimauma, Florida.

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45 Responses

  1. Roy Eugene Peterson

    The greatness of your poetry continues to shine and entrance us. “The Cartographer of Neverland” is an inspired look at the world through the eyes of irredentists, cultural recidivists, and recalcitrants bent on destroying the historical facts and truths. Previously I mentioned in some comments that Russia maintained a map with the extent of their empire ranging to Egypt and China maintaining a map that includes the Russian Far East including Siberia. China, of course considers Taiwan, the Spratlys, and other islands in the South China Sea to be theirs. Japan still considers the Kuril Islands full of gas and oil in the Sea of Okhotsk to be theirs that was rewarded to the Soviets and Stalin after WWII.

    “A Very Good Year” is a wonderful summary of a period in the past with exquisite rhyme and rhythm that prods the mind of historians and non-historians alike to consider how different our world could have been. You provide some great detail of that period of time as would an eminent historian.

    • Brian A. Yapko

      Thank you so much, Roy. Interesting story about the Russians which doesn’t surprise me in the least. Mapmakers have a surprising grip on the imagination. As the purveyors of objective data (no less than lexicographers and other reference sources) they have a duty to get it right.

      Thank you as well for the kind words regarding “A Very Good Year.” I try to sweat the details!

  2. Warren Bonham

    Both of these are excellent. The first one reminds me of Niemöller’s 1946 poem that ends with “then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me”. Thanks for speaking out!

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Bravo, Brian. Your 1st is deliciously acerbic, with some great rhymes. I’d like to add a thought:
      That map may show the wish of Mideast gangs;
      Our big concern must be in where it hangs.
      The 2nd is a more whimsical commentary on that ever more slippery fish truth, while acknowledging that we can’t shield anyone from future horrors. This is a difficult pairing within a short poem, and handled very adroitly.

      • Brian A. Yapko

        Thank you so much, Julian. I appreciate your added lines which provoke some truly scary concerns.

        As for the second poem… How I wish we could spare future generations from the horrors it must inevitably face based on present-day terrible choices!

    • Brian A. Yapko

      Thank you so much, Warren! That poem by Martin Niemoller is so relevant to these difficult times. In fact, I’m going to quote it here:

      First they came for the Communists
      And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a Communist

      Then they came for the Socialists
      And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a Socialist

      Then they came for the trade unionists
      And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a trade unionist

      Then they came for the Jews
      And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a Jew

      Then they came for me
      And there was no one left
      To speak out for me

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    The rhyme schemes in both of these poems merit attention. The first is ABCCBA, and the second is ABABAB. The first serves to prevent what I call
    “rhyme monotony” when a repetitive and easily recognizable pattern is used in a longer poem, especially one with a serious satiric purpose. The second does the same, but not as intricately, which is perfect for a somewhat comical fantasy or jeu d’esprit. I don’t know if Yapko does this deliberately, or if he just has a sixth sense as to what will work best.

    “The Cartographer…” is really about the left-liberal compulsion to create or imagine an alternate reality when actual reality offends or affronts them. The examples that the poet gives about possible cartographical pipe-dreams are excellent: Alsace-Lorraine, the Confederacy, Yugoslavia. Yeah, let’s have every aggrieved partisan redraw and rename all the territories in accord with their ideological imperatives. How about Biafra, Austria-Hungary, or the independent Duchy of Burgundy?

    Israel exists, and will continue to exist, and no pack of howling dervishes in the Levant or their stupid allies in BDS and the undergraduate moronocracy of our colleges will change that. So quite naturally, idiots decide to redo the maps to console themselves, with the illusion that thinking and wishing will make something come true.

    As for “A Very Good Year,” it is quite different, because it merely celebrates what is gone and describes how much more comfortable and human it was, while recognizing that the past cannot be altered. 1910 is a good choice, though I myself would prefer La Belle Epoque (1880 – 1914).

    • Brian A. Yapko

      Thank you for this appreciative comment, Joe, both on the poetry and the subject-matter. Your analysis of the rhyme schemes for both poems is actually illuminating to me. As you suspect, I really don’t plan the rhyme scheme out in advance. It is indeed that poetic “sixth sense” which tells me that couplets or a simple A-B-A-B won’t cut it here. Poems seem to have their own free will as I try to I try to intuit what would work. “Rhyme-monotony” is a very useful concept which I will consider in drafting poetry henceforth.

      Your insights regarding cartographical pipe dreams are spot-on. This fantasizing into trying to manifest an unearned reality really does seem to be a leftist thing. They like to bypass the part where you actually have to make it happen and earn it rather than just wave a magic wand.

      Glad you liked the choice of 1910. I thought about the 1890s but initially concieved the poem around the idea of preventing the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand — one of the most consequential assassinations in history.

  4. Cynthia Erlandson

    I think one of your many strengths is getting inside the heads of the characters you’re portraying — inventing the characters, really — and imagining how they would think and express themselves. I really enjoyed both of these fanciful poems that also tell a lot of truth.

    • Brian A. Yapko

      Thank you so much, Cynthia. That “getting inside the heads of the characters” is one of the funnest parts about writing poetry for me! If I had it to do over again, I would try my hand at being a playwright.

  5. Margaret Coats

    Brian, although “The Cartographer” accomplishes the wish-fulfillment of others in his work, you have him admit that he knows reality to be otherwise. Still, this kind of thing can achieve strategic purposes. In Brooklyn, the purpose is to teach American children to disbelieve in the state of Israel (if they develop any skill at map reading, and retain any memory of what they see).

    Surprise! World maps we see contain a significant instance of success. I first encountered cartographic claims as a graduate student hearing a lecture by a Tibetan scholar of language and religion. He said Tibet in 1950 was three times the size we see in our maps, if we see it at all. It is ordinarily treated as a region or province of China. But even so, the man had traveled during his youth to determine the limits of Tibetan language. During that time, Chinese communists gradually laid claim to more and more land occupied exclusively by Tibetans. In 1959, the Dalai Lama (recognized spiritual and political leader) fled to avoid falling into the hands of the Chinese. He was accompanied by tens of thousands of Tibetans. The man whose lecture I heard had remained in Tibet, and had knowledge of gradual expulsion of Tibetans from desirable territory, to be replaced by a Han Chinese population. Maps were re-drawn, and Tibet gradually reduced to a much smaller area of more mountainous and less fertile land. The Chinese back up their claims with military strength, and “possession is nine-tenths of the law.” International law has occasionally recognized some rights of Tibet, but it would take military force to change matters. Fait accompli. Tibet is nothing but a portion of China, with supreme power in Beijing, not in Lhasa. And maps that were at first fantasy have become accepted socio-political reality.

    “A Very Good Year” is not the mere imagination of a more pleasant era. From beginning to end, the speaker is on edge. He knows the fake train will crash and his life in the past will burn to ashes, just as that world itself did in history he knows. 1910, like the present, has its undesirable elements (no free press, for example, and many little things that people have discovered in acting out their lives with a program like “1900 House”). As you point out in the last two stanzas, the time traveler, despite his knowledge of the future, is powerless to affect it. What he does is the uneasy project of an impossible egocentric retreat in a sketchy attempt to save a portion of his sanity. That’s the tone and effect on this reader, and the work shows your admirable power at psychological poetry.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      The Tibetans had no means of defending themselves. The Israelis are a major military power in the region, and they can decimate their enemies (assuming, of course, that the brainless Bidenites stay out of their way).

      • Margaret Coats

        Exactly so, Joe. The Tibetans had no tradition of soldiery, and their government with the Dalai Lama at its head could do nothing in the way of force against their maps being re-drawn. I am simply surprised at his maintaining political claims for 50 years after his departure. Israel realized even before the state was founded that Israelis would need to develop forceful means of holding land, and they have done so effectively.

    • Brian A. Yapko

      Thank you, Margaret, for this deeply considered comment which touches on two points of great interest to me. First is your “compare and contrast” between Israel and Tibet. It is interesting to me that in a separate comment on a separate poem I mentioned the likely hegemony which is being created by world government and open borders: a world dominated by Communist China and Islamic Fundamentalism. Your bringing Tibet into the conversation validates my perception of that situation. But Tibet is a pacifist entity which has been utterly dominated by the Han Chinese militarily while Israel is a small but powerful nation which only seems to survive because it has a powerful army and a nuclear arsenal.But it needs this as it is horrifically bullied at the ratio I mentioned in a prior comment of 133 Muslims to every 1 Jew. Arabs have 22 other countries as part of the Arab League. Jews have no where else to go. The world’s only Jewish state has no where else to go, and this is why the cheerful calls for its eradication are genocidal in reality.

      For Tibetans the question of where to go is more complicated. The government in exile ended up in Northern India and remains there to this day waiting… though for what I’m not sure since China will never restore Tibetan sovereignty. It’s called the Tibet Autonomous Region but that is basically meaningless. I was in Tibet in 2002 as part of my first China tour (Lhasa) and was shocked at the extent to which Lhasa was dominated by Han Chinese restaurants, business and culture. All signs were in Mandarin with much smaller signage posted underneath in Tibetan. China has no respect for Tibetan or other ethnic cultures within its borders. It never will so long as it is Communist.

      Shifting the contrast issue slightly, there are some who might be tempted to see Israel in the CCP role rather thant the Tibet role. However, Israel is quite different. Even under siege, all signage is in Hebrew, English and Arabic. Muslim sites are heavily protected. Arabs have every right to attend university, enter the military and enter government service. This respect for other cultures — especially Islamic culture — is one of the reasons why claims of Israeli “apartheid” are so infuriating — they are pure gaslighting by those who actually do the “apartheiding” — the Palestinians themselves. (For example, did you know the death penalty attaches to any Palestinian who would sell real estate to a Jew? Look it up. And that’s only one of a series of dozens of anti-Jewish laws.)

      On to “A Very Good Year.” You get the psychology of the piece exactly right, Margaret! I’m very pleased that you saw the neuroses behind the nostalgia! The “train crashing.,” Hearst’s iron-fisted control of the news (how modern!) and my final identification with Cassandra show that not everything is hunky dory in either timeframe. In fact, the series of horros that are soon to emanate from things like Einsteins’s Theory of Relativity and World War I make it clear that a great deal of destruction exists just below the surface, Caruso and Houdini notwithstanding.

      As for that Cassandra reference, I think there are a great many of us who feel that we can foresee a dystopian future into which we are being forcibly yanked and which we feel powerless to prevent. Cassandra for me no longer feels like a mythological character.

      • Lannie David Brockstein

        On May 1st, 2024, Brian A. Yapko wrote:
        >>> “It is interesting to me that in a separate comment on a separate poem I mentioned the likely hegemony which is being created by world government and open borders: a world dominated by Communist China and Islamic Fundamentalism. ”


        Brian, what is never reported by the mainstream media, is that as the self-identifying Palestinians have been shouting “Death to America” along with “Death to Israel” (and thus “Death to capitalism”) for many decades, if there were to be a “Palestinian” state it would probably be both Muslim supremacist AND communist.

        From Lannie.

  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Brian, your poems are always a delight to read, and these two skillfully crafted, engaging marvels are no exception. In “The Cartographer of Neverland” you capture the laissez faire attitude of the cancel culture we live in today… so what if Israel is erased from the face of the earth by a self-serving cartographer… as long as the world is still spinning, dinner is on the table, and the Facebook likes are coming in thick and fast… who cares?! “A map to stroke the woke’s insanity” – how this oh-so-true line sums up the diabolical deceit of these wicked times.

    For me, “A Very Good Year” is a mixture of nostalgia, beauty, and horror… not an easy thing to pull off. The opening two lines set the mood perfectly. If only we could choose the time in history we inhabit. I love your magical images of a vibrant era – an important piece of our culture that has been demonized and demolished. I am certain your powerful closing couplet will have many empathizing with Cassandra in a world where nothing is deemed real. Brian, thank you very much indeed!

  7. Brian A. Yapko

    Thank you so much, Susan! I always hope my poetry will please you and am glad that it did so here. Those Facebook likes you mention are so damning. Attention, no matter how indiscriminate, seems to be all that matters for a large segment of the population.

    I especially appreciate your analysis of “A Very Good Year.” It is indeed a combo-platter of nostalgia, beauty and horror. As for Cassandra, yes, I relate a lot to this Trojan seer of doom. As events spin out of control, it is hard not to see the train-wreck to come. It is even harder to convince others. Cassandra has become quite real to me. I’m sure you know what I mean.

    • Brian A. Yapko

      Thank you so much, James! “What-ifs’ are a great inspiration for fantasies — especially ones involving time travel.

  8. Yael

    Great poetry Brian, as usual, and very thought provoking, I enjoy both of these very much. To me, both poems seem to deal with aspects of reality avoidance syndrome. The first one is obvious and straight forward, where someone simply projects the aims of conquerors and murderers onto a map of the terrain they wish to conquer and ethnically cleanse. The second one is more subtle, because the speaker seems unable and/or unwilling to change, or to accept the long ranging consequences of the culture’s and society’s trends in which he indulges so happily. It reminds me of Proverbs 14:12; “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

    • Brian A. Yapko

      Thank you very much, Yael! Yes, both of these poems are explorations of fantasy — the good and the bad. The first speaker is very cynical in his willingness to indulge the fantasy of Qatar, the pro-Hamas crowd and the wokesters. He very candidly does it for money and is amoral. The fantasy of those who commissioned the map is also a cynical one. They know the change they want made to the world map is not true. They do it purely to indoctrinate young children being exposed to this false map as an act of pure historical revisionism and propaganda. And young children in school, of course, have every reason to believe they’re not being manipulated.

      I love the Proverbs quote for the second poem. It reflects the world-weariness of a speaker who wants to live in simpler terms but realizes that it leads no where.

  9. Paul A. Freeman

    I’ve worked in Middle Eastern / Arabic countries for many years and am currently working in an Arab country which is not part of the Middle East.

    In classrooms in this part of the world, you generally have maps of the Middle East, which includes Israel because Israel is part of the Middle East region, and Arab World maps, which do not label Israel because Israel is not an Arab country.

    If you look at the NYC classroom map, you will notice that Ethiopia and Eritrea (to the east of Sudan) are not labelled, though Djibouti and Somalia (south-east of Ethiopia and Eritrea) are. This is because Ethiopia and Eritrea, just like Israel, are not Arab countries.

    The map in the picture is too low resolution to see if the area of Israel has been left blank (as it has with Ethiopia and Eritrea), which of course it should have been, leaving only Gaza and the West Bank marked out as the constituent parts of Palestine.

    I hope this clears things up. If not, just Google maps of the Middle East and the Arab World.

    • Joshua C. Frank

      Paul, defending the people who did this, whatever excuse you want to give them, is in extremely poor taste after the Hamas attacks in Israel. Even if you can’t go on record saying anything pro-Israel in your country, the better choice is silence on the whole issue.

      • Paul A. Freeman

        Maybe I should have used fewer syllables, Joshua.

        “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

      • Joshua C. Frank

        If by “fewer” you mean “none,” I agree, especially if you’re going to resort to insults.

  10. Brian A. Yapko

    Thank you for your reading and your views on the subject depicted which, though diplomatic, strike me as a bit naive. A close up of the map very clearly eliminates Israel and replaces it with Palestine. There is no empty space to represent an Israel that is reviled. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12951805/New-York-Texas-public-school-classrooms-feature-map-Arab-World-ERASES-Israel-replaces-united-Palestine.html

    Your mention of Eritrea and Ethiopia depicts something somewhat different. They are ignored as not being Arab. They are not replaced by a wish-fulfillment.

    The erasure of Israel — particularly in Arab publications is an old story. The textbooks of children in Palestinian territories routinely omit Israel. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2000/09/03/israel-not-on-map-in-palestinian-textbooks/866719d9-4836-41a0-9dba-7e84170f5f86/

    And an atlas intended for a Middle Eastern readership omitted Israel because the publisher felt this needed to be done to cater to “local preferences.” https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/05/middle-east-atlas-israel-anger

    While we’re discussing Jews in the Middle East, I’m curious what the Jewish population of your country is. And what it was 100 years ago before the Arab expulsions of the Jews began.

    • Mike Bryant

      Apparently, that knowledge is not worthy of a place in Wiki.


      From the link:

      Sorry, this page was recently deleted (within the last 24 hours). The deletion, protection, and move log for the page are provided below for reference.
      01:42, 4 May 2024 Star Mississippi talk contribs deleted page History of the Jews in Mauritania (Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/History of the Jews in Mauritania (XFDcloser))

      Nothing to see here, move along…

      • Brian A. Yapko

        Thanks for looking into this, Mike. Interesting how history keeps getting revised, redacted or lost so that it doesn’t upset people’s ideological narratives.

      • Mike Bryant

        The sad part, though, is that so many who know better have decided to go along with the homogenization (read falsification and reformation) of culture, truth and beauty. There is no place for individualism in the new world.

  11. Brian Yapko

    Thanks, Mike. That’s a big gap between 534 A.D. and 2009 A.D. What happened in those intervening 1500 years I wonder? “They just left” is improbable.

    • Mike Bryant

      Might need a bit more research… I hope it hasn’t all been deep sixed…

      • Brian A. Yapko

        I’ll give the research a go, Mike. Thanks. The “context” of my question to Paul in the first place is the fact that 900,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries (+ Iran) since 1920. This authentic apartheid against Jews by an enormous population representing an enormous geographical area is kept out of the spotlight because it ruins the leftist/pro-Palestinian narrative.

      • Mike Bryant

        Yes, too bad the Jews couldn’t stay in Mauritania. Maybe Paul could find some information in the local library!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      This thread reminds me of these words I read today.

      Millions of miles of barbed wire ran on and on, the strands crisscrossing one another and interweaving, their barbs twinkling gaily along railroads, highways, and around the outskirts of cities. And the peaked roofs of ugly camp watchtowers became the most dependable landmarks in our landscape, and it was only by a surprising concatenation of circumstances that they were not seen in either the canvases of our artists or in scenes in our films.
      From The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

      • Brian A. Yapko

        This is so heartbreaking, Susan. Freedom is an extraordinarily important thing. And barbed wire is a ripe subject for poetry.

  12. David Whippman

    Brian, thanks for these thought-provoking poems. The first reminds me of a comment on facebook. Someone pointed out that there had never been a state called Palestine. Someone else replied, “Of course there was! It was located just to the east of Shangri-La and north of Narnia.” Or words to that effect.
    Some people want to write Palestine into history, and Israel out of it. Your poem helps make sure they don’t succeed.

    • Brian A. Yapko

      This is a terrific comment, David. Thank you! “Erasure” of Israel is a particularly sore subject when it comes to Jewish history. The very name “Palestine” was imposed by Emperor Hadrian in an attempt to erase the very memory of Judea, whose rebellions had caused the Roman world so much trouble. Jerusalem’s temple was leveled (making a nice platform for Islam’s Dome of the Rock built 700 years later — ironically — on top of Jewish ruins) leaving only the Western Wall as a remembrance. Jerusalem itself was renamed Aelia Capitolina in an attempt to ethnically cleanse Judea of Jewish identity. “Palestine” was a Roman-imposed name the sole intent of which was to erase Judea from memory and promote Roman colonization. This is one of the reasons memes that call Jesus “Palestinian” are so particularly offensive. He was a Jew (INRI — “iesus nazarenus rex iudaeorum — Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”) originally from Galilee and who was crucified and resurrected in the neighboring kingdom of Judea. He would never have heard of “Palestine.” Nor would Mary, Joseph, any of the apostles, or any of the Jews or early Christians up to the year 129 A.D. when Emperor Hadrian’s issued his anti-Jewish and ethnic cleansing decrees.

  13. Joshua C. Frank

    Brian, these are both a perfect response to the “from the river to the sea” maps that are now being placed in American public schools! (If I needed any more proof that public schools are a joke, there it is.)

    I sympathize with the speaker’s desire to return to 1910… today’s world is an unprecedented evil. I, too, would have moved to that time long ago if I could. It is tempting to pretend away the modern world!

    • Brian A. Yapko

      Thank you so much, Josh. You’re so right — American public education has become a travesty. I am grateful that when I grew up I learned the Pledge of Allegiance. I learned to value my country and I learned how to be civil to others. I learned that English language literacy and accurate history matter. I cannot imagine any of my teachers — not one — giving a damn about my pronoun preferences or my gender identification.

      Tempting to pretend away the modern world? Oh yes. But sometimes sanity demands it.

  14. Paul A. Freeman

    Strange. I was just sharing information from first hand knowledge.

    Anyhow, this rabbit hole led to the world stage, to the United Nations General Assembly (not a school in the Bronx), in late September, 2023, and to BB brandishing a map erasing Palestine.


    The ‘Times of Israel’ is just one of many sources of this story.

    Again, I’m just sharing information. No need to get snarky and insulting.

    • Mike Bryant

      The Times of Israel is much like the New York Times.
      The article is wrong.

      If you had simply read the second comment below the article, you might have been enlightened:

      jury pro
      22 September, 2023
      “The pro-Israel community has long treated Palestinian maps not showing Israel as a form of incitement.
      (Netanyahu) today used a map at the UN showing Israel as comprising all of Mandatory Palestine. This should also be condemned by the US and all in our community as incitement.”

      The TOI saw fit to print this Tweet, cause there isn’t enough ignorance and contempt thrown at Israel’s way these days.
      There is a huge difference between Arab maps depicting the Mideast without Israel, and the intended destruction ad erasure of a UN member state, and an Israeli map showing current Israeli sovereignty over Yehuda And Shomron, as negotiated with the PA, unless and until future negotiations result in the 23rd Arab state within the “mandatory” borders which the Arabs rejected in 1948.
      This attempt to equate the two is popular within the ranks of those who know relatively little history, and appreciate Israel even less, but who wish to appear “progressive” and accepting of current radical anti-Western Islamic movements which also oppose a homeland for any non-Muslim minority, such as the Kurds, Copts, Berbers, Maronites, etc.

      At least the Israeli paper did not censor the comment above.

    • Brian A. Yapko

      Last time I looked, Palestine does not yet exist as a country. We hope that this will change, but not as a reward for terrorism — and not on the bones of an Israel destroyed in accordance with Hamas’ charter. Israel, however, DOES exist as a sovereign nation and has since 1948 when the United Nations accepted it as a member. When Palestine is a sovereign nation, it can appear on the map as such. Until then, it is wishful thinking. And when maps show it actually erasing Israel, it is a morbid, genocidal fantasy.

      Paul, I don’t like getting snarky and insulting. It’s contrary to my nature and it usually strikes me as counterproductive. I respect your work as a poet and I respect your pursuit of decency. But you are a consistent apologist for ideas and positions which I find to be anathema. I know you believe yourself to be unusually reasonable and the very voice of neutrality on a site which you must think is toxically right wing. Perhaps you think you’ll save us from ourselves. Considerate of you. But the fact is, I feel gaslit by some of your positions. What antisemitism? Nothing to see here! Palestine erased? Well, Netanyahu did it too!? Alright, so now instead of denying the vile business, you admit Qatar’s bad behavior but search for a way to spin it by suggesting an equivalence that doesn’t exist. Israel doesn’t go around telling the world that Palestine has no legitimacy and needs to be destroyed. Arab bullying of Israel (what, 450,000,000 Arabs in the Middle East versus 7,500,000 Jews?) goes right past you. The fact that every Arab nation expelled its Jews between 1920 and 1980 doesn’t tickle your anti-apartheid buttons. The fact that 90% of the Palestinian population approved the tortures of October 7th does not move you. I play a little game with myself when I judge people’s characters by contemplating who they would be, what they would support, what they would write about, who they would protect, what they would defend if this were the year 1939. Well… Perhaps one day I’ll write a poem about it.


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