Israeli-Palestinian conflict strikes Monopoly

The world’s best-selling board game is finally going global. Hasbro, the makers of Monopoly, are creating a version wherein instead of snatching up the deeds to Atlantic Avenue or Park Place, players can build up property in global cities such as Moscow or Tokyo. The company is letting people vote online through Feb. 28 on ...

596329_080222_monopoly2.jpg
596329_080222_monopoly2.jpg

The world's best-selling board game is finally going global. Hasbro, the makers of Monopoly, are creating a version wherein instead of snatching up the deeds to Atlantic Avenue or Park Place, players can build up property in global cities such as Moscow or Tokyo.

The company is letting people vote online through Feb. 28 on what cities to include. Originally, the cities listed on the game's Web site included the countries where they are located -- "Dublin, Ireland," for example.

An early version of the site listed "Jerusalem, Israel" as a potential place on the board. But then pro-Palestinians wrote in to complain, because Jerusalem, they hope, will be the capital of a future Palestinian state. So, a mid-level employee dropped the word "Israel" from Jerusalem's place name. Then pro-Israelis complained because of the inconsistency, since other country names were still there.

The world’s best-selling board game is finally going global. Hasbro, the makers of Monopoly, are creating a version wherein instead of snatching up the deeds to Atlantic Avenue or Park Place, players can build up property in global cities such as Moscow or Tokyo.

The company is letting people vote online through Feb. 28 on what cities to include. Originally, the cities listed on the game’s Web site included the countries where they are located — “Dublin, Ireland,” for example.

An early version of the site listed “Jerusalem, Israel” as a potential place on the board. But then pro-Palestinians wrote in to complain, because Jerusalem, they hope, will be the capital of a future Palestinian state. So, a mid-level employee dropped the word “Israel” from Jerusalem’s place name. Then pro-Israelis complained because of the inconsistency, since other country names were still there.

In a truly Solomonic feat, Hasbro decided to drop all country names (though the company claims they were only there in the first place “as a geographic reference to help with city selection”). And now capitalism is free to run amok without any borders. At least in Monopoly.

Christine Y. Chen is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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