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Boo to Hasbro

by michael February 22 2008
Municipal news

Jerusalemite blogged not long ago about an ongoing contest sponsored by Hasbro to determine the cities to be immortalized in Monopoly form. Thanks to a concerted effort by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Jewish media in the US, Jerusalem is high in the runnings, and all was well - until a mid-level employee at Hasbro yanked the "Israel" from "Jerusalem, Israel." 

Hasbro Inc. issued an apology Thursday after an employee, responding to complaints from pro-Palestinian groups, eliminated the word "Israel" after the city in an online contest to select names for a new Monopoly board game: Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition.

The company also pulled all country names from other cities on the site when even more people, including the Israeli government, complained because Jerusalem was listed as the only city without a country.

The Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based company is asking people to vote at the Monopoly Web site on which cities will be included in the new edition. Until Tuesday, every city on the site listed a country, including Paris, France; Cairo, Egypt and Jerusalem, Israel.

But an employee based in London decided on her own without consulting senior management to pull "Israel" from Jerusalem after hearing complaints from pro-Palestinian groups and bloggers who argue that the city is not a part of Israel, Hasbro spokesman Wayne Charness said Thursday.

 Jerusalemite of course agrees. It would have been preferable, and certainly more accurate, to list the city as "Jerusalem, Jordan." Jerusalem's character has been most heavily influenced by the years of Jordanian rule, and the country's Hashemite rulers have inextricable historical, cultural, religious and ethnic links to the city. Israelis, on the other hand, have done absolutely nothing for the city and have no right to claim it as their capital - no matter where their government, or spiritual center, may be. 

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