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a truly impressive 5-min infographic movie about the roots of the Middle-East conflict. slightly reminiscent of the opening sequence of the movie The Kingdom (its offline at YouTube, but still accessible on Yahoo movies), the goal is to show that "education & learning may also have a 'cool look'. this new look often reminds the viewer more of a TV music video than that of a matter-of-fact history lesson." if all news would be presented this interestingly...

[link: & (author blog)|thnkx Martin]


A truly false infographic movie:

- Romans were there before 135 AD (!)

- Palestine was the name given to Judea by Romans => Palestinian should mean Jew, but actually there never was any "Palestinian People" until the KGB invented it in the 1960s.

- Jews didn't have half of the Palestine, but only a fourth: the "Palestinian state" (as it would be called now) had already half of it: it's Jordan (!!!)

- The terror tactic was launched by KGB via Romanian intelligence services

- IMHO the real reason why no peace is possible is NOT historic (negociations could resolve this) but PRESENT: I/P conflict is vital for Arabic dictators, they couldn't resist peace in the area.

In short: never believe what is shown on TV, even when infographics are "cool"...

Tue 07 Oct 2008 at 10:44 PM

There are some errors of omission - for example, not only the British decided the Jews should have a homeland British Palestine but so did the League of Nations.

But the biggest error is in these sentences, around 03:02 respectively: "The adjacent Arab nations found this split unfair" - The Arab leaders didn't think Jews should have their own country in Palestine, period. The borders were of no consequence. They still aren't.

That's the fundamental reason the conflict continues, not any "cycle of violence" (04:39). So although the presentation is of high quality, it's the facts that need some work.

Tue 07 Oct 2008 at 11:49 PM

Jews didn't have half of the Palestine, but only a fourth: the "Palestinian state" (as it would be called now) had already half of it: it's Jordan (!!!)
- The terror tactic was launched by KGB via Romanian intelligence services

Wed 08 Oct 2008 at 1:00 AM

This site primarily serves to introduce us to new and interesting ways of presenting information; it's not generally about the data itself. But the reaction to this particular entry is what interests me: despite the obvious "summary" nature of the presentation (only 5 minutes to cover the whole thing?), everyone on all sides of the issue will find that some really important point was missed, some point that they hold dear. The ommission is taken as an offense, as a lie, as evidence of a conspiracy.

That's part, I think, of the conflict: an overabundance of facts, all of which are too important to ignore, making it nearly impossible for anyone to get a sufficiently good handle on the situation to be trusted to mediate and resolve the issue.

Is it better to give someone a "close enough" overview of the situation, something they can handle, something they might even find useful, or to try to give them a detailed history of the situation that they can't possible remember, won't listen through, and will in the end leave them overwhelmed, depressed, confused, and entirely demotivated to improve the situation? You have to draw the line somewhere.

Wed 08 Oct 2008 at 3:45 AM

the first commenter is RIGHT ON POINT. this video is very inaccurate.

Tue 14 Oct 2008 at 1:20 PM

The pure and simple truth rarely satisfies both parties.. contest it, call it "inaccurate" or "controversial"..

Wed 15 Oct 2008 at 2:13 AM

I believe the problem here is precisely trying to cram thousands of years of history into a 5 minute presentation. Important omissions naturally occur, but the possible editorial aspect of these omissions are what get people cooked up. This is a tough cookie to crack, from an information presentation point of view. The conflict is very complex and multifaceted. This is one of the main reasons why I dislike the "spectator sports" attitude the discourse of the Israeli-Arab conflict has taken.
One actually has to bother to open up books to get something even remotely close to an accurate portrayal of history here, and no one wants to do that, especially since the result of doing that often isn't a strengthening of your pre-conceived position, but a diminishing "graying-out" of what once might have seemed black and white.

It's certainly a nice presentation, but it has the same flaws other such presentations have when dealing with such a complex data cube, namely inaccuracies by omission.

Fri 17 Oct 2008 at 2:04 AM

'unordained' is so abolutely right.

Wed 29 Oct 2008 at 5:54 PM

video includes many defective definitions. for example ottomans are not arabic and has never been. this is what happens when you categorize things without much research.

Wed 08 Apr 2009 at 8:33 AM
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