In a move that can only be described as extreme arrogance, HarperCollins, as well as its cartography division, Collins Bartholomew, has decided to delete Israel from its Middle East maps and atlases being sold in schools.
Apparently its own misguided perception of political correctness trumps geography students’ actually learning the facts as they are known.
Before anyone rushes to his local school and demands to examine its supply of atlases, the textbook giant is selling its Israeli-deficient products only to schools located in parts of the Middle East.
“Collins Middle East Atlases show Jordan and Syria extending to the Mediterranean but do mark the position of the West Bank,” The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.
Rather than quelling relations within the Middle East, the publisher’s decision to omit Israel may actually harm peace efforts, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales noted. Bishop Declan Lang, the chairman of the Bishops’ Conference Department of International Affairs 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.
The Bishops’ Conference isn’t alone in tits thinking.
“Maps can be a very powerful tool in terms of de-legitimizing ‘the other’ and can lead to confusion rather than clarity,” said Dr. Jane Clements, director of the Council of Christians and Jews. “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.”
The Telegraph reported:
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”.
The Tablet said it had discovered the customs officers in one unnamed Gulf country only permitting the import of school atlases once Israel had been deleted by hand.
Iran has been threatening to wipe Israel off the map for decades. Now they don’t have to. HarperCollins has done it for them.
But deleting Israel by hand from an atlas can’t change reality, any more than adding a couple of zeros to a one-dollar bill will convert it to a hundred.