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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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territoriality

Israeli settlements, explained

Both sides claim the West Bank as legitimately belonging to them. Over time, and especially as Israeli politics has shifted rightward, the settler movement has become an institutionalized part of Israeli society. Support comes in the form of building permits, public investment, and even incentives for Israelis to move into the West Bank. While peace talks remain frozen, the settlements continue to grow, making any possibility of a Palestinian state in the West Bank faint.”

Source: www.youtube.com

These settlements are considered by most of the international community to be illegal, but since the U.S. has always vetoed sanctions in the UN security council, Israel had never been formally reprimanded.  Just last week, a UN resolution that passed 14-0 (with only the U.S. abstaining) says that Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity” and demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution.” 

Questions to Ponder: What is the two-state solution?  Who favors this plan?  What are some reasons why the two-state solution is so difficult to achieve?

Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, borders, territoriality, political, Middle East.

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Belgium and the Netherlands Swap Land, and Remain Friends

The discovery of a headless corpse in the Netherlands helped Belgium and its bigger Dutch neighbor resolve a property squabble that began in 1961.

 

In a region that has long known geopolitical and linguistic squabbles, and where Belgium has lived in the shadow of its neighbor, the land swap was anything but inevitable. In 1961, when the Meuse was reconfigured to aid navigation, it had the side effect of pushing three pieces of land onto the wrong side of the river. The uninhabited area subsequently gained a reputation for lawlessness, wild parties and prostitution.

 

Tags: borders, political, territoriality, BelgiumNetherlands, unit 4 political, Europe.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Challenges in Defining an Israeli-Palestinian Border

There are major hurdles in drawing borders between Israel and a future Palestine.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed peace talks in Washington in July for the first time in three years. While the talks are initially expected to focus on procedural issues, they are already beginning to take on a last-ditch quality. Explore some of the contentious issues that negotiators have faced in drawing borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

Source: www.nytimes.com

This five-part video report from the New York Times is from 2011, but still has some pertinent information, even if the situation has changed in some of the particulars.  These videos brings important voices from a variety of perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; together they all  show how a complex cultural and political geography leads to many of the difficulties in creating a long-lasting peace.  The discipline of geography doesn’t simple study the peace process–it is a part of it.  The creation of borders and the cartographic process play a critical role in solving territorial issues.  Geography can be both the problem and the solution. 

Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, Middle East.

Where Do Borders Need to Be Redrawn? – Room for Debate

What parts of the world should rethink their maps? Why and how?

Source: www.nytimes.com

Maps are always changing as a new nation gets added and old lines cease to make sense. Territory is claimed and reclaimed.  This series of seven articles in the New York Times explores regional examples of how borders impacts places from a variety of scholarly perspectives.  Together, these article challenge student to reconsider the world map and to conceptualize conflicts within a spatial context.

 

Tags: bordersmapping, political, territoriality, sovereignty.

Lies Your World Map Told You: 5 Ways You’re Being Misled

“Unfortunately, most world political maps aren’t telling you the whole story. The idea that the earth’s land is cleanly divvied up into nation-states – one country for each of the world’s peoples – is more an imaginative ideal than a reality. Read on to learn about five ways your map is lying to you about borders, territories, and even the roster of the world’s countries.”

Source: www.polgeonow.com

This is a nice article to get students to look past the officialness of a world map to explore some of the complexities that make contemporary political geography so compelling.  In a nutshell, this article discusses 5 major themes:

  1. Missing countries
  2. Incomplete control
  3. Undefined borders
  4. Disputed territories
  5. Territorial seas

Tags: bordersmapping, political, territoriality, sovereignty.

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