HarperCollins recently released a new atlas and one country is not too happy about it. The publishing company has reportedly omitted Israel from its atlas because it doesn’t want to offend customers in the majority-Muslim Gulf.
Collins Bartholomew, which is a subsidiary of HarperCollins, reportedly defended the decision not to label Israel, while keeping Gaza and Jordan clearly marked, because to include the country would offend customers in English-speaking schools in the Gulf, reports The Tablet, and their policy is “to meet local preferences.”
The publication reportedly discovered that some of the company’s customers in that region only agreed to purchase its atlases once Israel was struck from the page.
Bishop Declan Lang, chairman of the Bishops’ Conference Department of International Affairs, says the publication’s decision will only harm relations among Middle East nations.
“The publication of this atlas will confirm Israel’s belief that there exists a hostility towards their country from parts of the Arab world,” Lang said. “It will not help to build up a spirit of trust leading to peaceful coexistence.”
A representative from HarperCollins said the omission was little more than a mistake on the publication’s part, reports the Daily Mail.
“HarperCollins regrets the omission of the name Israel from their Collins Middle East Atlas,” a spokesman said. “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.”
Despite the apology, many have taken to Twitter to call for the boycott of HarperCollins.