Monopoly controversy

02.23.08

As many people know, Monopoly (the board game) is launching a new world version, and the cities that will represent each proprety are being decided by a worldwide online vote. It’s the final days of voting now, and as of Friday when the leaderboard was hidden, Montreal was close to the lead. So head on over there and vote for Montreal.

Anyway, one of the nominated cities is Jerusalem, Israel – which, of course, predictably led to controversy as the anti-Israel crowd chimed in with their outrage:

Given the white-hot controversy over Israel — the world’s most fought-over piece of real estate — should the board game refer to “Jerusalem, Israel” even though Palestinians say Jerusalem will be the capital of any future Palestinian state? Should it say “Jerusalem, Palestine?”

Instead of rolling the dice, parent company Hasbro is taking the middle ground.

The company is letting people vote on its Web site for which cities to include in the new game — “Dublin, Ireland” for example. It recently removed “Israel” after “Jerusalem” and then eventually removed all of the country names.

Hasbro told The Associated Press that a mid-level employee decided on her own to take out “Israel” after pro-Palestinian groups and bloggers complained — sparking even more protests from the other side.

Maybe it was a bit naive of Hasbro not to have anticipated this. But still, why should they? Jerusalem is in Israel. They stated a geographic fact. And the fact that more and more people are afraid to say so, due to threats and intimidation from a non-country, is utterly shameful.

I’d still like to see Montreal occupy the top spot. But thanks to this mess, I doubt I’ll buy the game.

Update 02/27: With less than 24 hours left to vote, Stephen Colbert mentioned the site and the contest on tonight’s show. This will likely drive millions of people – mostly Americans – to the site to vote. Montreal was narrowly battling it out with Istanbul for the lead when the board was hidden last week, but given the Colbert twist, I wouldn’t be surprised if the American cities jumped into the lead when they announce in August. So much for that.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ikram 02.26.08 at 3:51 PM

Jerusalem is in Israel. They stated a geographic fact

?!

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2 Sigivald 02.27.08 at 5:46 PM

Why the ?!, Ikram?

Jerusalem is, in fact, located in Israel – it’s the capitol city of Israel, in fact.

Some might not like that. Some might deny it. Some want desperately to change that.

But it is nonetheless true.

(Imagine a British group insisting that “Dublin, Ireland” was “wrong” because Dublin is properly British territory, and part of the UK, regardless of the existence of the Republic of Ireland and Dublin’s being part of it, and in fact its capitol.

Would the claim that “Dublin is in Ireland is a geographic fact” be one that leads to exclamation and question?)

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