A Map of Israel, El Al
This is a postcard published by the Israel airline company El Al in the years following the establishment of the State of Israel showing an El Al airplane flying over an illustrated map of Israel.
The map depicts Israel’s cities, towns and villages, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. The airport was called Lydda after the neighbouring city, although today it is called Ben Gurion Airport. Besides the cities, many villages appear on the map symbolized by trees, small houses and tents.
There is a clear distinction on the map between the inhabited and non-inhabited areas. The inhabited area is green while the other areas are yellow, possibly symbolizing the desert areas of Israel. The focus is probably on Jewish settlement, however, since there were no doubt Arab cities and villages in some of the "empty" areas.
This postcard can be used in a variety of different teaching contexts. In Geography lessons about maps, this map could be shown as an example of the messages that maps can convey. Teachers of Jewish Studies could use this map when teaching about the early days of the State of Israel. Art teachers could use this map as an example of illustrating maps and give students an assignment to create their own illustrated map of modern-day Israel or a map of their hometown.
What is shown on the map?
How are the cities depicted on the map? How are the villages depicted?
Why is the area west of the Jordan River coloured yellow ? Was it uninhabited?
What message is conveyed by the choice of illustrations?
What was the contribution of people who chose to live in remote settlements to the establishment of the State?
The postcard was printed by El Al Israel Airlines. Why do you think they chose to design a card with an airplane flying over Israel?What role did El Al play in the new State of Israel?
Does Israel of today look like the map in the postcard?Design a map of your own representing Israel of the twenty-first century.