Official United Nations Map of Israel Has No National Capital

Yup, I can’t believe this seems to have been discovered only now.

Many media heavyweights – the BBC, Agence France-Presse, the Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, CTV – pretend Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel. Even the Obama White House had a hard time figuring out where that capital city might be.

But the Cartographic Section of the United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping Operations goes a step better than them all. If amateurs pretend Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital, the pros at UNDPO assert that Israel has no capital at all.

That, at least, is the implication of the map it posted (dated January 2004 but only noticed by me today) which has a distinct symbol (a five-sided star in a circle) for what it terms “national capitals.” For the full map, click here.

A close-up shows that Damascus and Amman both bear this five-sided star symbol, whereas no city in Israel does, notably neither Jerusalem nor Tel Aviv.

I would just add one thing. This seems to be the UN’s official map on Israel – even though it is from 2004. If you go to the UN’s Geospatial Information Section (formerly Cartographic Section), and select ‘Israel’ in the drop-down box, you are directed to the map.

Also if you Google ‘UN Map Israel’ it is the first search result.

While this is the UN, I am still a bit surprised they did not assign Tel Aviv as our capital, like all the ‘cool kids’ do.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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