HarperCollins Omits Israel From Maps for Schools in the Middle East, Then Apologizes

January 2, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

HarperCollins sparked outrage by omitting Israel from maps of the Middle East, but later apologized for the omission.

The publishing house sells English-language atlases to schools, which included maps that didn’t have Israel in its current position.

“HarperCollins regrets the omission of the name Israel from their Collins Middle East Atlas,” the company said in a statement.

“This product has now been removed from sale in all territories and all remaining stock will be pulped. HarperCollins sincerely apologizes for this omission and for any offense caused.”

However, the map remained available on websites such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

HarperCollins apology came about a day after Collins Bartholomew, a subsidiary of HarperCollins that publishes maps, made waves by claiming they couldn’t include Israel.

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The company told The Tablet that including Israel in the atlas would have been “unacceptable” to their customers and that leaving the country off the map was due to “local preferences.”

HarperCollins said on its website that the atlas was “developed specifically for schools in the Middle East.” 

“The maps give in-depth coverage of the region and its issues,” the description said.

The Tablet reported that customs officials in one Gulf nation has only been allowing regular atlases to reach schools after Israel was crossed off. 

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