American Elephants


HarperCollins Omits Israel on Maps Published for the Middle East! by The Elephant's Child

harper-collins_3151209b copy (click to enlarge)

HarperCollins has produced an atlas for use in the English-speaking schools in the Middle East that features a startling omission. There is Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank — but where is Israel?

Collins Bartholomew, the subsidiary of HarperCollins that specializes in maps, told The Tablet that including Israel would have been “unacceptable” to their customers in the Gulf and the amendment incorporated “local preferences.”

Muslim countries would “prefer” that Israel vanish — to omit it is a blatant lie. We are to produce propaganda to appease local preferences? (Note: Secretary Kerry, this should open your eyes to the reality of your precious “peace process.” The  Palestinians have no interest in any process that does not include the elimination of Israel.)  I would prefer that Iran and North Korea vanish, if we’re going down that theme, but reality is reality.

Bernard Lewis, the great scholar of the Middle East, in his book What Went Wrong? wrote that “For centuries the world view and self-view of Muslims seemed well grounded. Islam represented the greatest military power on earth — its armies, at the very same time, were invading Europe and Africa, India and China. It was the foremost economic power in the world, trading in a wide range of commodities through a far-flung network of commerce and communications in Asia, Europe and Africa; importing slaves and gold from Africa, slaves and wool from Europe , and exchanging a variety of foodstuffs, materials and manufactures with the civilized countries of Asia. It had achieved the highest level so far in human history in the arts and sciences of civilization. …In most of the arts and sciences of civilization, medieval Europe was a pupil and in a sense a dependent of the Islamic world….”

But the Renaissance happened, the New Learning happened, and the Muslim world for a very long time just didn’t notice. It was not until the nineteenth century that the language barrier was conquered and Western books became accessible. Direct observation of the West became possible. The question became — what is the source of the wealth and strength of the West?

Traditional answers to such a question would have been in religious terms. All problems are ultimately religious, and all final answers are therefore religious. The final answers given by traditional writers … were always “let us go back to our roots to the good old ways, to the true faith, to the word of God….There was always the assumption that if things were going badly, we are being punished by God for having abandoned the true path.”

“The Tablet said it had discovered the customs officers in one unnamed Gulf country only permitting the import of school atlases once Israel had been deleted by hand.”

That explains ISIS, al Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic radicalism in general, but it doesn’t explain how to deal with it.


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