A publisher faces pressure to withdraw a children’s book that erases Israel from the Middle East.
The book, ‘ Amazing Women of the Middle East: 25 Stories from Ancient Times to Present Day’, is published in the UK by Pikku Publishing.
Its pages tell the stories of 25 “extraordinary Middle Eastern women” across history from Egyptian queen Nefertiti to international lawyer Amal Clooney, but none of them are Israeli.
It also features a brightly-illustrated map of the region that erases Israel. The country is instead marked “Palestine”, with various neighbouring countries such as Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, clearly labelled.
The book, which is marketed to children over the age of nine, is listed on a web page marked “Teachers’ Resources” on the publisher’s website.
UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) called on Pikku Publishing to withdraw it and print an updated edition with an amended map and the biography of at least one Israeli woman.
It also urged the Department for Education to advise schools against using it as a teaching aid, arguing that doing so could breach legislation on promoting partisan political views in schools.
UKLFI director Caroline Turner said: “This is a very attractive book, and it is a great idea for children to read about amazing women of the Middle East.
“However, to have excluded Israel from the map of the Middle East, and to have excluded all Israeli and Jewish women from the book is misleading and biased, and tends to promote a view of the Middle East that completely delegitimises Israel.”
Pikku Publishing was approached for comment.