The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A History in Maps

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A History in Maps

Atlas of the Conflict

Among the more elegant sets of drawings documenting the conflict is the book Atlas of the Conflict by Malkit Shoshan. The book, a clear labor of love by the Israeli-born author, goes far beyond the country-wide maps of shifting borders to detail the impacts of the years of war and policy–Israeli, Palestinian, and foreign–on individual regions and villages. Shoshan describes it as:

A lexicon, drawing on many different information sources, provides a commentary on the conflict from various perspectives. As a whole, the book offers insights not only into the specific situation of Israel-Palestine, but also into the phenomenon of spatial planning used as a political instrument.

The maps themselves are beautifully-drawn using simple but effective notation. Lineweight, rendered precisely, serves alternately as border, wall, or settlement, and it is through the simple buildup of lines that patterns are revealed. Color, meanwhile, is at once simple and brilliantly applied: blue always denotes Israel, and brown always denotes Palestine, so that when the colors are merged into a gradient, as in the timeline of Israel in the slideshow below, the transition from a Palestinian to an Israeli state is eminently clear.

The following slideshow presents a small selection of images from the book, though I highly encourage you to find a copy to see in great detail the beautiful information in the book, which won the “Most Beautiful Book in the World” honor in 2011.


Atlas of the Conflict - detail 1

Atlas of the Conflict - detail 2

Atlas of the Conflict - detail 3

Atlas of the Conflict - detail 4