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May 29, 2008

Tiny Georgia, Big Israel?

Once again, The Washington Post has referred to a country as tiny (World News Brief “Huge Protests Launched Against Saakashvili,� [May 27]). Once again, that country is not Israel.

Georgia, described as “the tiny Caucasus nation� happens to be 3.5 times the land area of Israel. Georgia’s population is 5.4 million, Israel’s is about 7.2 million, of whom 5.6 million are Jews. Georgia comprises an area of 69,700 square kilometers (26,911 square miles), Israel comprises 20,770 square kilometers (8,016 square miles). The CIA World Fact Book describes the Black Sea nation of Georgia as slightly smaller than South Carolina, while it depicts Israel as slightly smaller than New Jersey.

Other tiny countries, according to Post foreign news coverage in the past three years, include the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan (47,000 square kilometers, “about half the size of Indiana,� in the CIA’s description (more than twice as large as Israel); Israel’s neighbor to the north, Lebanon (10,000 square kilometers, “about 0.7 times the size of Connecticut�); and Albania, Gambia, Luxembourg, and Malta.

Consistency and accuracy, would require The Post’s foreign news desk to describe Israel also as “tiny� from time to time. Failure to do so suggests a double standard, perhaps unconscious, in which Israel appears to loom larger in the Middle East than it actually does, and erroneously is assigned more responsibility for regional problems than it ideserves. --- APG

Posted by ER at May 29, 2008 10:37 AM


"Tiny", in this case, refers not to the comparative land mass or population but rather to the significantly smaller amount of political and military power Georgia holds in the region when compared to Israel. No country is backed by a superpower like Israel is. Understand?

Posted by: nick louie at June 9, 2008 05:01 AM


You must have a special "journalist english to regular person's english dictionary" that no one else has.

I'm glad, at least, that you understood the Post's secret meaning.

(Yes this is sarcasm.)

Posted by: gerald at July 31, 2008 04:26 PM

Georgia is backed by the U.S. And while Israel may have a stronger support in absolute terms, the U.S. is not funding Russia like they fund the PA.

Posted by: Arbiter at November 2, 2008 01:37 PM

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