The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has urged Saudi Arabia to include ‘Israel’ on its official maps.
In a meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir in the kingdom last February, ZOA President Mort Klein noted Israel is not included on any official maps used by Saudi Arabia.
Mort Klein asked Al-Jubeir, “How can Saudi Arabia educate Saudi youth and other Saudis of the mutual benefits of promoting relations with Israel, and to end antagonism towards Israel, if Israel is not even shown on the Saudi maps?”
“We’re all delighted and heartened to hear about your desire to improve relations among the Saudis and the Israelis. Your words of wishing to educate young Saudis about the appropriateness and mutual benefits of enhanced relations with Israel were especially encouraging. However, in this room, directly behind you, is a very large map of the world, which shows every country on earth, yet wrongly does not show Israel. Instead, the large map shows ‘Palestine’ covering all of Israel,” Klein explained.
He added, “The maps send the opposite message from the message that you want to promote. Official Saudi maps in Saudi Arabia and the maps we saw on the Saudi airline that we flew in on also didn’t show Israel – sending the wrong message that either Israel doesn’t exist or shouldn’t exist. I believe all of us here are deeply troubled by this continuing lack of official recognition of and even denial of Israel’s very existence as indicated on Saudi Arabia’s maps. We respectfully ask that these maps will be changed to reflect reality.”
Al-Jubeir told Klein the country would work on the issue and promised that he would immediately see to it that the maps are corrected.
“He promised me and all of us that the next time we visit, Israel will be indicated on all official Saudi maps, including the Saudi airline maps. After the Q & A was over, I went over to Minister Al-Jubeir and he again privately reiterated his promise to me,” Klein said.
On Wednesday, President Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released a statement to remind Al-Jubeir to fulfill his promise to show Israel on Saudi Maps.
The organization welcomed the meetings in Neom, Saudi Arabia on Sunday among Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“Such meetings are important steps in the right direction. We hope that such meetings will help widen the circle of peace, prosperity, and trade relations in the Middle East, and will add Saudi-Israeli normalization to the recent Abraham Accords between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan, despite our concerns that Israeli sovereignty in parts of Judea/Samaria has been put on temporary hold,” the statement said.
The organization noted that they’ve been told the maps have not been changed yet, and that they noticed that the map on Saudi Arabia’s official travel website still does not show “Israel” and instead covers Israel with the word “Palestine.”
“ZOA looks forward to Minister Al-Jubeir and Saudi Arabia fulfilling their promise, of almost 10 months ago, to correct her official maps and all other maps to accurately and realistically show Israel’s existence and being part of the Middle East,” the organization concluded.