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Have a strong stomach? Track the settlements on your cell phone

Americans for Peace Now has just released a “Facts on the Ground” application that gives iPhone and iPad users real-time, digital maps of the West Bank settlements. It’s also available on the web. You can find it here.

Interviewed by Ha’aretz, APN’s estimable CEO Debra DeLee said, “One of the things that make this tool so powerful is that it democratizes data. In the past, not many were able to tour the settlements with an expert guide. With the introduction of our app, anyone can explore the West Bank with just a click of a mouse or a touch of a finger.”

APN deserves praise not only for the use of this new communications tool, but also for the powerful, sickening, saddening visceral experience it provides. Settlements are symbolized by little blue houses. In the main map, a “West Bank Overview,” they form thick, deep clusters east of the Green Line, and look very much like cancer cells that have metastasized and run amuck.

One sign of how interesting this is: it prompted me to do a blog post for the first time in weeks (and the second time in months).

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