Where’s Israel?

For the past week  or so we have seen the fiasco of ‘vanishing Israel’ from maps of the Middle East.

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.

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

The Collins Middle East Atlases show Jordan and Syria extending to the Mediterranean, but do mark the position of Judaea and Samaria..

Bishop Declan Lang, the chairman of the Bishops’ Conference Department of International Affairs, to The Tablet said:

“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.”

Dr Jane Clements, director of the Council of Christians and Jews said:

“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.”

However, Collins Bartholomew, the subsidiary of HarperCollins which specialises in maps, said that including Israel would have been “unacceptable” to their customers in the Gulf and the amendment incorporated “local preferences”.  It seems that one unnamed Gulf country only permits the import of school atlases once Israel has been deleted .

Now a HarperCollins spokesperson has announced:

“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 offence caused.”

Telegraph UK

Are they for real?

Is it the almighty dollar or is it all about keeping the Arab/Muslims happy?  Or is it one and the same?

Also this past week a Norwegian NGO funded an exhibit of kids’ maps in Lebanon presenting “Palestine” as replacing Israel.

The current exhibition was named “This is Palestine” and the maps were painted by Palestinian children from Lebanon. The exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of “the outbreak of the ‘Palestinian revolution,'” rreferring to the first terror attack that Fatah, headed by Yasser Arafat, carried out against Israel in 1965 – an attempt to blow up Israel’s National Water Carrier.

Importantly, the NGO responsible for the exhibit, Norwegian People’s Aid,  receives funding from several international donors, in addition to its own government, including the United States and Canada. The organization cites its objective with aiding Palestinian refugees in Lebanon as giving them the “right” to “eventually return to their homeland” after more than 60 years.

Both the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian International Development Agency are donors for the NGO’s “development cooperation in Lebanon.” Other backers of the Norwegian People’s Aid, according to Palestinian Media Watch, include the US State Department, USAID – US Agency for International Development, the EU and UN, and other governments.

One of the maps at the exhibit illustrates Israel, but is titled “This is the area of Palestine,” adding that the area of “Palestine” is “27,009 square kilometers,” which is essentially all of Israel. Another map depicts the “borders of Palestine” which sees “Palestine” surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

None of this is new. The Palestinian Authority makes no attempt to educate its people towards peace and coexistence with Israel. Everywhere it repeatedly rejects Israel’s right to exist and paints a picture of the Middle East in which Israel does not exist at all.

From Palestinian Media Watch

The PA Depicts a World Without Israel.

Palestine replaces Israel.

The following description of Israel’s founding in a Palestinian schoolbook represents the dominant dogma about Israel:

“Palestine’s war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine … and established the so-called State of Israel.”
[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104]
This official PA map of “Palestine” was broadcast on PA TV in September 2011. The map includes both the PA areas and all of Israel (excluding the Golan Heights) wrapped in the Palestinian flag – a symbol of Palestinian sovereignty over the whole area – and has a key through it, symbolizing ownership. Similar maps presenting all of Israel as “Palestine” appear in Palestinian schoolbooks and are shown regularly on PA TV.
“Palestine” replaces Israel
The Palestinian Authority paints a picture – both verbally and visually – of a world in which Israel does not exist. Children’s educational TV teaches that Palestine currently is a “state” (Arabic “dawla” = state) covering 27,000 sq. km – i.e., an area that includes all of Israel (the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip total only 6220 sq. km). Moreover, all Israel’s cities and infrastructure are referred to as “Palestinian”: “Palestinian ports … [are] Haifa, Jaffa, Ashkelon, Eilat, Ashdod, and Gaza”. [PA TV (Fatah), Sept. 1 2008].Maps provide visual reinforcement for this perception: Israel does not exist on any map; its area is marked as “Palestine.” Maps showing the entire area of Israel covered with the Palestinian flag are routinely displayed at official PA events.

This educational documentary, depicting all parts of Israel as “Palestine,” has been broadcast repeatedly on PA TV (Fatah) from 2007 – Oct 1, 2010:

“The West Bank and Gaza have another section in Palestine which is the Palestinian coast that spreads along the [Mediterranean] sea, from …Ashkelon in the south up to Haifa, in the Carmel Mountains. Haifa is a well-known Palestinian port. [Haifa] enjoyed a respected status among Arabs and Palestinians especially before it fell to the ‘occupation’ [Israel] in 1948. To its north, we find Acre. East of Acre, we reach a city with history and importance, the city of Tiberias, near a famous lake, the lake of Tiberias [Kinneret- sea of Galilee]. Jaffa, an ancient coastal city, is the bride of the sea, and Palestine’s gateway to the world.”

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One comment

  1. What a weak statement from Dr Jane Clements, of the Council of Christians and Jews:

    “Maps can be a very powerful tool in terms of de-legitimising ‘the other’ and can lead to confusion rather than clarity.”

    There is only one ‘other’ that is regularly deligitimised, and that’s Israel! There was nothing confusing about this omission, which was a deliberate act by the publisher. It’s about time the Council of Christians and Jews showed a bit of courage and came out strongly against Muslim nations that try to wipe Israel off the map.