Feb 20, 2008

Hasbro removed Israel from World Monopoly!!!

Today I created my first Facebook group.

Let me tell you the story.

As you all probably know, this has been all over the Jewish and Israeli news sites and many bloggers have written about it, Hasbro has been running a competitive voting site to allow us, the general public, to vote for different cities to decide which of them will get their name included in the new "World Monopoly" game being created.

People got very excited to see that Jerusalem was on the list of cities to be included in the voting process. It was not just Jerusalem being nominated, but Hasbro used the full name "Jerusalem, Israel". Even the United States of America, Israel's great friend across the Atlantic, still considers Jerusalem disputed territory and refuses to use "Jerusalem, Israel" on official documents, and only use "Jerusalem" so as not to be seen as taking sides in a dispute between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

So people got excited that this game that will probably sell millions of copies worldwide is going to give Israel the recognition of "Jerusalem, Israel". So a campaign was pushed urging people to go to the World Monopoly site to vote for Jerusalem, Israel.

"Jerusalem, Israel" was doing very well in the voting. Suddenly, Hasbro removed the ", Israel" from the Jerusalem. I do not know why, but some group probably protested that Hasbro is taking sides in a conflict and Hasbro probably bowed to pressure. It was not unexpected. I told my wife a long time ago that they will probably remove the ", Israel" to put on the game. They cannot afford not to, and why would Hasbro want to be in a position where they look like they are taking sides in politics, when no country uses the ", Israel" (even though removing it is also taking a side, but that is besides the point).

People noticed the change today and went into a tizzy. The forums and local email lists were flooded with people complaining and rallying the troops to email protest letters to Hasbro insisting the ", Israel" tag gets put back on the ballot.

Then a friend of mine created a group on Facebook calling on Hasbro to put Israel back on the World Monopoly Board.

When I received the invitation to the group, I thought of the idea of creating a Facebook group of my own. So I did. And I called it "Monopoly board saying "Jerusalem, Israel"? Who cares???" - because really - will it change your life or my life or anyone's life if Hasbro uses the ", Israel" or not? Did anyone really expect them to go through with it and use the full name like that? Will Hasbro "taking sides" help us resolve the conflict and foster peace between us and the Palestinians? Will ", Israel" have any affect on anything?

Sure, it is a shame, but why does anyone really care so much about it?

Oh yeah - my group will be doing nothing. I just started it for the fun of it. But if you feel like "Who gives a hoot" and you have a Facebook account, feel free to stop in and join the group...


  1. Now I see the cool things I've missed by not keeping up with your blog posts or my facebook messages. :)

  2. I can appreciate that a for-profit company doesn't want to do anything that might affect their sales. I can even appreciate that they don't want to appear to be taking sides. What I don't appreciate is that Israel is the ONLY country this seems to apply to. I bet within a month, the disputed cities of Kosovo will be included and there will be nary a protest. Or at least...nary a protest that will be given the time of day. Frustrating!!


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