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December 31, 2014 12:48 pm

Publishing Giant HarperCollins Apologizes for Middle East Atlas That Wiped Israel Off Map (UPDATE)

avatar by Ben Cohen

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A page from the Harper Collins Middle East atlas with Israel banished from the map. Image: HarperCollins

HarperCollins, one of the world’s leading publishing companies, has apologized for removing Israel from its Middle East Atlas, which is sold to English-speaking schools in the Arab Gulf, after receiving angry criticism from Jewish and Christian leaders.

“Shame on HarperCollins,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, told The Algemeiner, prior to the release of a statement from the publisher which announced that the atlas “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.”

As the British Christian newspaper The Tablet reported on Wednesday, the atlases “depict Jordan and Syria extending all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.” A spokesman for Collins Bartholomew, the subsidiary of HarperCollins that specializes in maps, told the paper that including Israel would have been “unacceptable” to their customers in the Gulf and the amendment incorporated “local preferences.” The Tablet also reported that a customs officer in one Gulf nation would only permit the atlases to reach their intended recipient “only once Israel had been struck out by hand.”

Bishop Declan Lang, the chairman of the Department of International Affairs Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, told The Tablet that the deliberate omitting of Israel from the map would harm peace efforts on the Middle East.

“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,” Bishop Lang said.

Rabbi Cooper called on HarperCollins to “take a stand,” arguing that the company – one of the so-called “Big Five” English language publishers and a property of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation – should have the courage to tell its clients in the Gulf, “if you are asking us to supply you with world famous atlases, don’t tell us what to put in there.”

“HarperCollins should say, ‘our job is to present you with reality,'” Cooper said.

Cooper, who has visited the Gulf on several occasions, pointed out that the removal of Israel from the atlas “belies” a “new reality” in which Gulf states are actually drawing closer to Israel. “Israel and some of Gulf states are interacting daily over the defense needs and particularly their shared concerns about Iran,” he said.

He added that many residents of Gulf countries “are sophisticated people who are on the internet day in and day out,” and would therefore regard the HarperCollins decision as reflecting a dated “mindset.” “There are plenty of readers of papers like the Jerusalem Post and The Algemeiner in the Gulf,” Cooper said, illustrating the degree to which external sources of information and analysis have penetrated the region. The HarperCollins action would “be embarrassing to some of the people there,” he concluded.

Dr Jane Clements, director of the Council of Christians and Jews in the UK, expressed concern that the atlases would encourage students to “delegitimize” Israel. Speaking to The Tablet, she urged “relevant bodies” to ensure that “all atlases anywhere reflect the official UN position on nations, boundaries and all political features.”

This article has been updated to reflect the HarperCollins statement that the Middle East atlas is no longer on sale.

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  • Map company Lovell Johns deliver high quality map making and geographic solutions to the public sector, publishers and all sizes of business. Read our latest blog post about the incident and the issues sorrouning naming conventions.

    • abe levin

      Two words….”Never again”……

  • Melo Gardener

    So the obvious next question is when these absurd hate filled and revisionist Arab and muslim countries next ask for maps of a revised world where different countries they are aggressing on as they do on Israel, will they start espunging Europe or North America etc and call them IslamoEuroStan or NorthIslamic Arabica??? Yah I will now learn how to Boycott HarperCollins along with the rest of the Islamic countries products etc… I will boycott as everyone should anything Islamic until they stop cleansing out Muslim lands of non-Muslims, especially Christians slaughtered and especially closing the human slaughterhouses As we are able we need to boycott all things muslim….yes everything…

  • Isaac

    Rupert Murdoch is extremely pro Zionist. How could he allow one of his companies to do this? If it was done without his knowledge, he must be fuming!

  • Otto Schiff

    I think the next thing is to issue an atlas and leave out Britain.

  • Josephine Goldman

    If this doesn’t prove what the Arab nations intend nothing will!

  • Randal Agostini

    Is there anything wrong in stating the truth?

    • paula mathis

      Whose truth?

  • Irina Niderman

    I newer ever buy anything by published the HarperCollins.

  • Wm. J. Levy

    Once again Jews are attacked and threatened by sources outside of Israel and Harper-Collins knew what they were doing.

    Go to any mosque or school in the Middle East and usually paid for by the American taxpayer and Israel doesn’t exist, at least on their maps.

    The world is not afraid of Jews or Israel so they can get away with it and so they do.

    Stop being so pathetically weak and be strong and tough and make your enemies fear you.

    French Jews are fleeing France and Jews are being killed there by Arabs. Just like with the Nazis and so it starts again.

    When do they fight or did the Holocaust never happen.

    Why doi Jews say “Never Again”. I say “Why Not”.

  • Lauren Goldman

    I sent them a letter explaining that I will avoid their company in the future. Their address is;

    HarperCollins Publishers
    195 Broadway
    New York, NY 10007

  • Mirage

    Please , do Not – Apologize .. you did the right thing

    • Lynne T

      As if those students don’t make full use of Israel-developed technology and as if the Arab elites don’t have investments in Israel directly or indirectly via companies that operate in Israel.

      “mirage” is certainly an appropriate screen idea for magical thinkers like you.

    • Otto Schiff


      Anti Jewish discrimination is not the right thing.
      When ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise.

  • Joseph Ozer

    Thank you Bishop Declan for supporting Israel’s right to be recognized.

  • RobiMac

    Why do people apologize for deliberate acts? And, do they honestly expect those apologies to be accepted?
    I mean, really!

  • susan staehs

    Beyond Accurate…Harper-Collins..
    Is Despicable. …They Have Lost Complete Credibility….

    You DO NOT Change Reality For Political Gain…You DO NOT Change History..
    Absolutely Deplorable….

    • paula mathis

      They don’t want to face the fact that they wish to comply with people who want to destroy isdeal. They want us to think it was just business.

  • Jerry Rosenberg

    Having participated in Israel in Israel’s war of independence in 1948 as volunteer, I feel a right to
    make a statement about the Arabs living Judea Samaria.
    With regard to war crimes, as far back as ’48 they used
    their women as shields. They are there on sufferance, as land was awarded to the Jews as far back as the Leaque
    of Nations.
    They have had 66 years to come to an agreement with Israel,but chose not to. They have done nothing to prepare for statehood. They have spent these years trying to destroy Israel and the Jewish people.
    Why should Israel accept them as a reliable peace partner.
    Another solution must be found but not the with the Arabs
    of the region

    Jerry Rosenberg

    • Jeff Kane

      Thank you for expressing what is right and just. Judea, Samaria, and all of Jerusalem are inseparable parts of Eretz Israel. The so-called Palestinians are simply an invention of the Arab that was designed to use “liberation politics” to rid the Levant of the Jews. The muslim residents of Eretz Israel should be expelled to Gaza or Jordan if they refuse to sign pledges of loyalty to Israel.

    • Otto Schiff

      Well said, Jerry

  • deborah

    The financial bottom line was more Impt to them than ethics. Bad.

  • Ivan Sebastian

    So if they were publishing a math textbook and the customer insists that 1+1=3, they would print it. And they call themselves “publishers”.
    I will make a point never to buy a book published by HarperCollins.

  • Pingback: Publisher HarperCollins Apologizes for Middle East Atlas that Wiped Israel off the Map | Restoring Liberty()

  • Steven

    If this isn’t Anti Semitic or racist then what is ? HC should be sued in a court of Law and made to pay damages.

    • allan massey

      Steven a mistake is a mistake this is not a anti semitic or racist,not everything that does not go your way is anti semitic or racist maybe they should remove the two words from English then what would you use????

      • JS

        Allan, an error in spelling is a mistake. putting a name in the wrong place is a mistake. Trying to get away with something and getting caught is not a mistake. This could have been an error in judgement, at best, but even then you would need to look at the motivation for that and that is where a label like “racism” could be applied. You can take words like love and hate out of the English language too but they would still exist and so does racism and antisemitism. I wonder where you are coming from?

      • Elle

        A mistake is not always based in anti-Semitism. But this was not a mistake. It was a deliberate capitulation to Islamic bigotry against Israel. In general, they also hate the US and the rest of the West. Would you be so “tolerant” if they removed those countries from Harper Collins maps and showed those land masses as part of the Caliphate?

      • Meagan Meehan

        Morally, ethically, factually wrong.

      • Simon

        A Mistake? Are you kidding me?

      • Simon

        Do you actually know what the words Anti-Semitic and Racist mean? Why would you have to ask for other definitions if these words were removed from the English language? You certainly sound liberal, racist and anti-Semitic!

      • Otto Schiff

        You can easily substitute the term “antisemititism”
        with the term “Stupidity”.

  • Londongal

    It should be a three step action – request and return of inaccurate materials and replacement with new and a statement sent to each purchaser noting the inaccuracy.

    Boycotting (suggested by one commenter) makes no sense we should not advocate any form or element of BDS

  • June Grant

    Harper Collins are cowards, and useful idiots.

  • Robert Davis

    All of this chaos would be over in 3 days if Israel had the courage to expel those arabs from Western Palestine! Military action would take 3 days and arabs’ and lefters’ gossip rants another 3 days.In 6 days gossip included the matter would be OVER for ever!

    • Jeff Kane

      Right on, brother. I couldn’t agree more.

  • fred, and greedy

  • Helena

    Incredible! I have no words!
    How low can you stoop to please them.

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    “Pardon me, but my ‘freudian’ slip is shsowing.

  • Shekhar Mishra

    Adding insult to injury: With regard to the anti-semitism Harper Colins Atlas Maps for the Arabs

    Collins Bartholomew, the subsidiary of HarperCollins that specialises in maps, told The Tablet that including Israel would have been “unacceptable” to their customers in the Gulf and the amendment incorporated “local preferences”.
    According to HarperCollins’ U.K. website, “The atlas has been developed specifically for schools in the Middle East. It has been designed to stimulate and inspire students with its syllabus specific content.”

    Hope Jewish/Israeli Media and more importantly the Israeli Education Minister will react and send shock waves to them.

    WOW! This will stimulate and inspire students – Arabs students. HOW?

    By being brainwashed that Israel has never existed BUT Palestine yes!

    By accepting that Palestinian and Hamas/Gazans knife stabbing and stones throwing are an act of bravery and fighting for liberty

    • Lynne T

      I am sure those students and the border agents both make ample use of Israeli technology. In the case of the latter, I expect this whole business might have been circumvented had HarperCollins greased the right palms.

  • David

    With such a mindset, I can see that various countries might want to have a map to change reality to suit the brainwashed. Let’s see: North Korea wants a map that doesn’t show South Korea. China would want a map that shows it controlling all of the South China Sea and Taiwan. Russia would want a map that shows the Crimea as part of Russia. Pakistan wants a map that shows Kashmir as part of Pakistan. The Islamic State would want its map to show its Caliphate obliterating Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

    Harper Collins is big enough to accommodate the world’s megalomanic fascists, leftists, Islamic Terrorists and Radicals. What a wonderful company.

  • joe phillips

    Harper Collins was quick to comment that “I guess we made a big foo pa. Now where exactly is Israel again?”

  • A. Sanders

    Too easy to apologise after the event. I agree best thing to do is boycott Harper-Collins which should include al share holders either Jewish or not who sympathise with Israel. Israel has existed since 1948 so there is no point covering it up just to pander to those who are against the existence of the State.

  • Ben Gruder

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

    How many other countries to they make disappear to confirm to the delicate revisionist sensibilities of spoiled brats? Is Taiwan obliterated from the map to placate the Chinese for example? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • David Blend

    This kind of co incidence simply does not happen with Editors , operators etc. etc.
    some senior allowed this to happen either in collusion or otherwise.
    What’s done is done– Israel is wiped off their map / book for one year — we will be back again next year

  • Fred

    Accidental on purpose. Would sell their mother to the Arabs for a buck.

  • Julian Clovelley

    I look forward to the publication of a Zionist atlas that leaves off the rest of the world and only has Israel in the middle of the page

    Atlases do have unintended side effects. Australia appears as green in many Atlases which gives it the appearnce of being an enormous empty verdant pasture land

    In reality it is the driest continent on Earth and mostly desert with largely infertile soil. Too many people – including asylum seekers and refugees – arrive here with unreasonable and unrealisable expectations. That is not to say they should not be given shelter and sanctuary – but I do wonder if, were their understanding more realistic, many would even set out

    I suspect Israel has similar problems – but I do rather feel Zionism feeds those expectations. You should not need to settle someone else’s territory to have living room for your immigrant population. Nor should the deliberately encouraged immigration lower the already low living standards of many already living in the host country.

    • JS

      Julian, You have no understanding of what Zionism is. And you clearly have very little knowledge of the history of that land. The Jews have maintained a continuous presence in that land for over two thousand years. The Arabs are not an indigenous population having migrated there from Arabia, Syria and Egypt. And the Jews have raised the standard of living for all of those living there. Compare the standard of living for the Arabs of Israel vs. those in the Arab lands and you will be surprised what you will find.

    • Elle

      Israeli Arabs have a higher standard of living than Arabs in any of the neighboring countries. Furthermore Israel is not settling on land of other nations no matter the bowing and scraping of the international community to Arab fiction. The Arabs seek to win by political subterfuge and propaganda what they lost in war. If we look at “who was there first” these were Jewish lands before hundreds of years before Muhammad was born.

    • Lynne T

      Bigots like you feed the very low expectations of Arabs, Julian.

      If the Palestinians weren’t fully committed to eliminating Israel, there would have been peace after ’49, and Gaza still under Egyptian administration and Jordan still responsible for the land it seized west of the Jordan River to which it had no legal claim.

      Meanwhile, the Palestinian majority living east of the river fare very badly under the Arabian monarch the Brits installed after handing Arabia to the Sauds.

  • Joe

    Thanks for the information, my opinion is that we must boycott Harper – Collins and I have instructed my company to do so.

  • Harper-Collins caught out on blatant anti-Semitism.

  • Since when do ” local preferences” determine how a ,map or globe is created? Personally, I’d like to see one without several countries but I doubt it would be done.
    I will most definitely discourage our school system from purchasing any materials from HarperCollins Publishers & will spread the word far & wide! Although HCP apologized, I’d like to know just how many of the LIE are available for teaching tools in the Middle East. And, in addition to the too late apology, what will HarperCollins do?

  • CGG

    What a sham. So much for Harper Collins as a credible educational resource.

  • This is a monstrosity of the like not beeing heard of ever before.Neighter Nazi Germany nor Cambodgia or North Korea,Somalia,Sudan, the then still apartheid South Africa or the SovietUnion were removed from atlases.Most of them beeing failed states and bad dictatorships.Now some screwed madminds decide to remove the state of Israel- with a seat in the UN- from the map since some arabs desire so.What kind of a world do we live in?

  • Mickey Oberman

    Just imagine a Muslim cruise ship running aground and all aboard perishing because the Harper Collins chart did not show that Israel was there, only clear ocean.

    Who would HC blame??

  • Coralee Campbell

    Not happy with harpercollins. But my disappoint dims in comparison to how Father God looks at them. Glad I am NOT in their shoes. Think a new map publishing company will become the best. Bye, bye HarperCollins.

  • charlie johnson

    WE’LL DO ANYTHING FOR A BUCK MAP COMPANY. We cater to the lamebrain.

  • Fred Rogers

    Boycott Harper-Collins books and let them know that you are doing so! HC is disgusting!

    From a very avid bibliophile.