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Israelis and Palestinians are the Best of Facebook Friends

Facebook Stories shows surprising connections between Israel and her neighbors

By: David Shear
Published: October 11th, 2012 in News » World

Technology has helped build connections that weren’t possible decades ago, and Facebook has been the catalyst to build many of these cross-border relationships.

Regardless of where people live today, their options to stay in constant communication with each other is endless through email, Skype, social media, and other innovative ways. But how do people find each other, and who do people connect with? Those are questions that Facebook Stories is trying to answer – a website dedicated to sharing thought-provoking stories and ideas from Facebook’s community.

Stamen Design, a design and technology studio in San Francisco, has launched a new feature on Facebook Stories called “Mapping the World’s Friendships,” an initiative that visualizes the degree of relationships between Facebook’s hundreds of millions of members.

Countries are sorted by a combination of how many Facebook friendships there are between themselves and others, and the total number of Facebook friendships there are in that country.

One of the stories shown by the interactive map is the relationships built by Israeli Facebook users. Surprisingly, Israel’s strongest friendships are with Facebook users in the Palestinian Territories, followed by Jordan, Egypt, France and Russia.


Other extraordinary connections discovered through this map are that more people commute across the border each day to work in Liechtenstein than Liechtensteiner locals going to work in their own country; that the Democratic Republic of Congo has one of its strongest links with Ecuador; that Portugal is Angola’s strongest friend, and that Iraq is Sweden’s fourth strongest connection.

The results are surprising, but can also be explained through immigration, economic links, and nations and with long standing histories, whose cultural and economic ties are still felt today.

Iraq and Sweden have a close connection due to recent geopolitical events which saw Sweden immigrate more Iraqi refugees than the United States.

Angola and Portugal’s connection can be traced to the wave of immigration that saw 23,000 Portuguese immigrate to Angola in 2009 due to their growing economic relationship.

Even with the daily media bombardment obsessed with the negative relationships and turmoil that exists in the the Middle East, it’s exciting and heartening to see how the younger generation, given the tools needed, is willing to build relationships with each other. Now, if only somebody could convince the respective governments to do the same!

Related articles: Facebook, Israel, Palestine, Connections, Relationships
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