In a previous post I wrote about the Hasbro World Monopoly contest, pointing out with no small degree of pride that not only could Jerusalem be on the board, but be there with its proper designation: Jerusalem, Israel. And thanks to the worldwide publicity from many Israel advocates, the capital city of Israel has rocketed up to #5 in the voting as of this writing (that's the North Carolina Avenue spot for those of you playing at home). And there has got to be some serious internet buzz going on in Turkish, since Istanbul has pushed past Montreal into the #1 spot.
But a very strange turn of events has taken place in the past 24 hours. First Jerusalem--and only Jerusalem--lost its country designation. This writer called Hasbro Customer Relations this morning and was told that it's a computer glitch and was not a political decision by Hasbro, and that they were working to fix it. Interesting how this computer glitch only affected ONE city.
Subsequent events put the lie to that explanation, as now ALL the cities are missing their country designations. Someone more savvy at Hasbro obviously realized that eliminating references to only the Jewish state was too obvious, so in a slick recovery move they took all the country labels away and now act as if this was the plan all along. The BBC posted this today, referring to the 1947 partition plan in which Jerusalem was to be a corpus separatum:
When approached, Hasbro, the American manufacturers of Monopoly, promised that they would not second-guess the UN, should Jerusalem be included.
In an email to the BBC, they stated: "Due to space limitations no selected city's board space will have any descriptive text aside from said city's common name."
This reeks of cowardice, presumably the result of Islamic "outrage". What comes next, changing the name of the city to "al-Quds"?
Comments may be directed to Hasbro at 888-836-7025 or via webform at http://www.hasbro.com/default.cfm?page=cs_contact