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Source: Twitter

Publisher HarperCollins has apologised for its “regrettable omission” after an executive said they’d left Israel off its maps of the Middle East so as not to offend customers from the Persian Gulf.

The company, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, said the atlas in question, which was available to children in English-speaking schools, would be taken off the shelves and destroyed.

It comes after an executive from a subsidiary of HarperCollins told a Catholic audience that Israel was omitted from maps after the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said it was harmful to peace efforts in the Middle East.

A spokesman for Collins Bartholomew, which specialises in maps, told ‘The Tablet’ magazine that including Israel in the Middle East Atlas would have been “unacceptable” to its customers in the Gulf.

Dr Jane Clements, from the Council of Christians and Jews, said: “Maps can be a very powerful tool in terms of de-legitimising ‘the other’ and can lead to confusion rather than clarity.”

HarperCollins isn’t the first publisher to wipe Israel off the map, with Scholastic, the world’s largest children’s book publisher, apologising for “inadvertently” doing so in 2013.