HarperCollins omits Israel from school atlas

Posted: 1/1/2015 7:49:00 PM
Author: The Telegraph (London) Foreign Staff
Source: HarperCollins pomits Iwsrael from school atlas

HarperCollins omits Israel from school atlas
by The Telegraph (UK) Foreign Staff

The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has accused the publishing giant HarperCollins of harming peace efforts in the Middle East by leaving Israel off its maps

The map was produced specifically for distribution in the United Arab Emirates and neighboring countries
by Our Foreign Staff

HarperCollins, one of the world's largest publishing houses, sells English-language atlases to schools in the Middle East that omit Israel.

Collins Middle East Atlases show Jordan and Syria extending to the Mediterranean but do mark the position of the West Bank.

“The publication of this atlas will confirm Israel’s belief that there exists a hostility towards their country from parts of the Arab world. It will not help to build up a spirit of trust leading to peaceful co-existence,” said Bishop Declan Lang, the chairman of the Bishops' Conference Department of International Affairs, to The Tablet.

“Maps can be a very powerful tool in terms of de-legitimising 'the other' and can lead to confusion rather than clarity. We would be keen to see relevant bodies ensure that all atlases anywhere reflect the official United Nations position on nations, boundaries and all political features," added Dr Jane Clements, director of the Council of Christians and Jews.

However, Collins Bartholomew, the subsidiary of HarperCollins that specializes in maps, said that including Israel would have been “unacceptable” to their customers in the Gulf and the amendment incorporated “local preferences”.

A HarperCollins spokesperson said: “HarperCollins regrets the omission of the name Israel from their Collins Middle East Atlas. 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 offense caused.”