If you look at the maps of the Middle East put out by HarperCollins, something may seem strange …or rather, missing. There is no Israel on the maps, but the West Bank is labeled clearly.
This was not an oversight, but was intended to foster World Peace. Collins Bartholomew, a map publisher and subsidiary of HarperCollins argued that producing a flawed map was justified, because this map was intended for schools in the Middle East and not in other places; Middle Eastern students, obviously, would start a ruckus if Israel is even labeled. In fact, one Gulf nation’s customs officials refused to allow accurate maps in until Israel was crossed out.
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Bishop Declan Lang, chairman of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Department of International Affairs, told The Tablet (A Catholic publication, not to be confused with the Jewish news and culture website of the same name), “The publication of this atlas (meaning the original, accurate one) would confirm Israel’s belief that there is hostility against their country from parts of the Arab world. It will not help build a spirit of trust leading to peaceful co existence.”
So if one can’t even have their country present on a map, why is there any point to denying there is hostility? How can a spirit of trust be built and a peaceful co-existence if one doesn’t even exist–even on a map?