Scholastic Publishing caught omitting Israel from map in children’s book

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, November 13, 2013

Scholastic book omitting Israel

Scholastic Publishing, which is known for its extensive collection of children’s books and magazines, was caught red-handed trying to redefine the world’s geography.

According to The Times of Israel, the 2012 book “Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt” features a map of the Middle East sans one country, Israel. The land that would be considered Israel is instead identified as part of neighboring Jordan. There is also no line indicating the Israeli border with the Sinai Peninsula on the book’s map.

The mistake was discovered when Adina Golombek, a Jerusalem resident who emigrated to Israel from Canada last year, was reading the book with her 7-year-old son.

“I wanted to show my son where we lived in the Middle East, but it didn’t say Israel on the map; instead it said Jordan,” Golombek told The Times. “I showed him the problem and drew in the border of where Israel is today.”

“Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt,” a translation of a popular Italian children’s series, “Geronimo Stilton,” tells the story of a group of investigative journalists hunting for treasure in Egypt.

The company has since acknowledged its error and has ceased printing the book until the error could be fixed in the book’s next edition.

“The President of Trade Publishing who was on a plane yesterday returning from Europe has confirmed for me this morning that we are stopping shipments on this title, making the correction and going to reprint. We regret the error,” Kyle Good, a senior vice president for corporate communications at Scholastic, told The Times. 

“Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt” isn’t the only book to omit Israel. A recent study carried out by several Israeli and Palestinian researchers found that 96 percent of Palestinian school textbooks fail to mention Israel by name in their maps, while 87 percent of Israeli school textbooks fail to designate the Palestinian Territories by name.

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