Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Georgraphical History of Israel, This Neck of the Middle East

Fred sent me a very interesting link about the history of this part of the world.  It's the Stratfor Country Profile on Israel.  It's relatively accurate and objective as these things go.  Their maps are pretty good, too.  The only important thing they are missing is a key to indicate actual distance, size of the land illustrated.

Too many people Nobody realizes how tiny this "contested" piece of land really is.  from the looks of the maps, we could be as large as Brazil, Argentina, Japan or Florida. 

Actually, we're closest in size to New Jersey.

Decades ago, an American military expert pooh poohed Israel's security worries by saying something like (my gratitude to anyone who can find the exact quotation):
"As long as Israel and Palestine are separated by a 50 mile demilitarized zone, Israel would be perfectly safe."
He had no idea that there aren't 50 miles, about 70 kilometers, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.


Anonymous said...

i never thought of it that way. are you sure that there is not even 50 miles between the sea and the jordan river, even south of the dead sea?
in any case, that guy would be wrong today...

Anonymous said...

IRIS:Israel Comparison Maps

Joe in Australia said...

The Jordan River flows into the Dead Sea and does not extend past there. Israel's border south of the Dead Sea is basically a line on a map. But I think M' Batya may be incorrect; my estimate of the distance between the end of the Jordan near the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean is 53 miles, although it gets narrower to the north.

Anonymous said...

From Israel's Foreign Affair Ministry:

Long and narrow in shape, the country is about 290 miles (470 km.) in length and 85 miles (135 km.) in width at its widest point.

From Wikipedia:

Israel stretches 424 kilometers (263 mi) from north to south, and its width ranges from 114 kilometers (71 mi) to, at its narrowest point, 15 kilometers (9.3 mi).

Anonymous said...

hmf. of course there is no river south of the dead sea, its the lowest point on earth. but joe got my meaning.

Batya said...

What's important is the width where population is most dense, between Haifa and Ashdod, not some empty desert region. And you must always consider the defense of your weakest area. So even if one tiny part of Israel, near Beersheva may make that 50 mile benchmark, it is of no importance.

You know about the chain being as strong as its weakest link, right? Well that's the same for security.