HarperCollins Publishers omits Israel from school maps in Muslim countries

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The HarperCollins Publishers map of the Middle East without Israel. Credit: HarperCollins Publishers.

The HarperCollins Publishers map of the Middle East without Israel. Credit: HarperCollins Publishers.

(JNS.org) HarperCollins Publishers has omitted Israel from maps that will be used in English-speaking schools in Muslim countries in the Middle East.

The maps, which do not demarcate Israel, depict Jordan and Syria extending all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, with only Gaza and the West Bank being labeled.

Collins Bartholomew—the subsidiary of HarperCollins that specializes in maps—told The Tablet, a Catholic U.K. weekly newspaper, that including Israel would have been “unacceptable” to its customers in the Middle East and that it adjusted the maps to meet “local preferences.”

According to HarperCollins, the atlas is being “developed specifically for schools in the Middle East” in order to “give in-depth coverage of the region and its issues.”

Bishop Declan Lang, chairman of the Bishops’ Conference Department of International Affairs, told The Tablet that the omission of Israel would harm efforts towards peace.

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

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