Ok, I’ll admit that this post is here mostly because I wanted an excuse to use that headline, but this seemingly mundane news actually has an interesting lesson. Three separate bids by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority all failed to secure the Dead Sea a place in the final list of natural wonders:
JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Dead Sea was frustrated in its bid to become one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Though it was running in the top 14 finalists on the last day of voting, it was not enough to make it onto the final list.
… Israel sank more than $2 million intp a global public relations campaign to win the contest. According to figures released by the Government Advertising Bureau, some 285,000 people visited the Dead Sea website this month, and at least 1.1 million have visited since the start of the campaign.
Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, who all abut the sea, ran separate campaigns. The lack of regional cooperation is being seen as one reason that the site did not break into the top seven.
What was going on there? Well: Israel and Jordan are technically at peace but being seen as cooperating with Israel in any way is still political suicide in the Arab world (even if your country is actually very hostile to Israel – read: Saudi Arabia); the Jordanians and the PLO have not exactly been on speaking terms ever since that whole Black September thing; and the Israelis and the Palestinian leaders are unable to even be in the same room as each other these days, let alone coordinate a multimillion-dollar campaign for a shared natural asset.
In a way it’s lucky though, since the Dead Sea isn’t doing too well these days and there may not be much of it left in the next few decades, as this picture below shows. All of those beautiful skin products are draining this “natural wonder”.