ONE of the world’s leading publishing houses has apologised for leaving Israel off the map in an atlas for children it sells to English-speaking schools in the Middle East.
While the Jewish State is not demarcated on the HarperCollins publication, the West Bank and Gaza are clearly labelled, as are all the neighbouring Arab countries.
The company has now agreed to pull the atlas from sale and destroy copies of the offending book.
“HarperCollins regrets the omission of the name Israel from their Collins Middle East Atlas,” the company said in a statement released last Wednesday. “This product has now been removed from sale in all territories and all remaining stock will be pulped. HarperCollins sincerely apologises for this omission and for any offence caused.”
The apology came just hours after HarperCollins subsidiary Collins Bartholomew told Catholic news weekly The Tablet that including Israel would have been “unacceptable” to its customers in the Persian Gulf and that omitting Israel took into account “local preferences”.
Dr Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission welcomed Harper-Collins’ decision.
“We are pleased by the company’s assurance that it will reprint the map in a new version, which this time will rightly include Israel.
“Educational texts must adhere to the highest standards of truth and accuracy, and must present students with information that is free of political bigotry and prejudice and which does not provide credibility to a malicious narrative in which Israel does not exist.”
A detail from the controversial map.