HarperCollins Apologizes for Omitting Israel From Middle East Atlas

News Corp generic image - H 2012
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News Corp generic image - H 2012

The News Corp-owned publishing giant is removing the book from sale in all territories

HarperCollins has apologized and said it removed from sale an atlas developed for schools in the Middle East that omitted Israel. In the below statement on its Facebook page, posted on Wednesday, the News Corp-owned publishing giant said it was sorry for leaving Israel out of the atlas and said it was pulling the book.

As of early Friday morning, however, a version of the atlas was still available for purchase on Harper Collins' U.K. website. The link to the atlas later directed people to an error page.

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Catholic publication The Tablet first reported on the error, noting that the atlas shows Jordan and Syria extending all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Collins Bartholomew, the subsidiary of Harper Collins that specializes in maps, had told The Tablet that including Israel in the atlas would have been "unacceptable" to customers in the region and that a change was made to reflect "local preferences."

Bishop Declan Lang, chairman of the Bishops' Conference Department of International Affairs, told The Tablet, "The publication of this atlas will confirm Israel's belief that there exists a hostility toward their country from parts of the Arab world. It will not help to build up a spirit of trust leading to peaceful coexistence."

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The Tablet also reported that customs officers in one Middle East country only allowed school atlases to reach their intended recipients after Israel had been omitted by hand.

The Washington Post noted that the West Bank and Gaza were clearly marked on the map.

Collins Bartholomew has not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.

Jan. 2, 2:08 p.m. This story has been updated to reflect that the link to the atlas no longer works.