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3.0 out of 5 stars Honest mistakes or politically motivated?, 4 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Information is Beautiful (New Edition) (Hardcover)
So I got this book as a gift for someone who loves stats and charts. It is indeed a beautiful book to look at and as I flipped through it I was wondering about the veracity of the information presented in it, until I came across pages 216-219. Oh my...

-> Pages 216-217: Relationship Map of the Middle East
* Egypt is connected to Israel through a solid red line (enemies). This isn't the case as Israel has diplomatic relations with Egypt. If anything we could say it is strained (like Turkey).

* There should be a dotted blue line between Israel and Jordan as they maintain good diplomatic relations.

* In fact there are other countries in the info-graph that maintain good relationship and/or trade agreements with Israel which seems to be missing from the list (e.g: India, Germany, China).

-> Pages 218-219: Map of the Palestinean Territories
* The 1946 map is a blatant lie, as all the land highlighted in blue was public land of the British Mandate of Palestine. There was no assignment of such land to Palestinian Arabs for a Arab Palestinian country. No comments on the other maps (1947, 1999 and 2007).

Now, I do not care for the author's (or anybody for that matter) stance on Israel, Palestine and the Middle East. What I do care is for statistics and info-graphs to represent true data. Let me put it this way: If the relationship diagram shown a solid red line (depicting enemies) between Uruguay and France, that would be a incorrect. If there was a blue thick line (strong allies) between Canada and North Corea, that would also be incorrect.

As for the map of Palestinian territories. I am not disputing the present whether there is an occupation or whatever. It is an EMPIRICAL FACT that in 1946 All of that land was under British Control, and before that it was under the Ottoman Empire. One might as well draw a map of the 1800s with the East Prussia named as Kaliningrad, or name Italy in a 600 AD map of Europe.

I can only conclude that those 'mistakes' have a political motivation behind it, which seriously damages the credibility of this book. If I want to feed on rhetoric about Israel, I would be watching Al Jazeera.
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