Shame on HarperCollins for publishing an atlas of the Middle East and deliberately omitting Israel from the map. Tablet Magazine reported (December 31):

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

Tablet also reported:

“The publishers HarperCollins is withdrawing from sale an atlas that omitted Israel from its maps after the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said it was harmful to peace efforts in the Middle East.

The Tablet’s story about the Middle East Atlas which shows Jordan and Syria extending all the way to the Mediterranean Sea was widely reported and caused an international outcry. Collins Middle East Atlases, were sold to English-speaking schools in the Muslim-majority Gulf and publicity about their existence has embarrassed the publishing giant.”

While HarperCollins deserves a huge helping of New Year’s shame for its unconscionable deed, the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales deserves our gratitude, though the omission was far more than simply being “harmful to peace efforts in the Middle East.”

This omission constitutes a denial of the historical record, the delegitimization of the state of Israel and the creating of an alliance of the book publisher with those who would deny the right of the Jewish people to a state of our own. This constitutes anti-Semitism, pure and simple, or at the most it indicates the catering to classic anti-Semitism. The omission was also a denial of the United Nation’s charter and Israel’s membership in that august body representing the family of nations.