There is something pathetic about the fact that Collins Bartholomew should have chosen to publish an atlas in 2014 in which the State of Israel does not exist.
A spokesman for the company is reported as having excused the fact by commenting that leaving Israel off the map reflected “local preferences” and that including a map that incorporated Israel would have been “unacceptable” to its customers in the Gulf.
I looked at Philips’ Record Atlas published by George Philip & Son back in 1958 and noted that Israel appeared on its maps of the Eastern Mediterranean. More than half a century later, what was then taken for granted is now open to question.
Collins’ Primary Geography Atlas for the Middle East, which is available in paperback, PDF and Kindle format, is described by Amazon as being “An ideal school atlas for young primary school geographers.”
We are informed that its content “is specifically designed for schools in Middle East countries. It enables students to learn about the world today by exploring clear and engaging maps, study satellite imagery, understand key facts and statistics.”
One of those “key facts” is that, more than 65 years after Israel was admitted as a member of the United Nations, the Jewish State does not exist!
The lack of preparedness of some to recognize the State of Israel is not only a blot on Collins’ professional integrity but more seriously impedes progress towards a resolution of the Israel/Palestinian conflict.
Palestinian children are inculcated with the belief that Israel does not exist and that it is only a matter of time until the “Zionist entity” will in the words of Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (remember him?) be “wiped off the map”.
There is a psychological principle that our ability to build a future as individuals is dependent at least in part upon our preparedness to accept the past, recognize reality and move on.
What is true for individuals is also true for peoples and nations. The preparedness of the Arab world in general and the Palestinians in particular to see Israel on the map is a prerequisite for any hope of a resolution of the Israel/Palestinian conflict.
There is something ironic about the Palestinian Authority turning to the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice for official recognition at the very time that “local preferences” demand that a reputable publisher wipe Israel off the map!
While the heat is on Collins Bartholomew for the time being, it really needs to be turned on those Gulf States that find Israel’s very existence “unacceptable”.