Dude where’s my homeland? Map in popular children’s book omits Israel

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NEW YORK – Dude, where’s my homeland?

mapThat may have been what some Jewish readers wondered after reading “Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt,” a popular children’s book by publishing giant Scholastic.

TimesofIsrael.com reports that a map at the beginning of the book does not include Israel, a nation of eight million people that’s been in news virtually every day since its founding in 1948.

“While Sudan, Libya and Saudi Arabia appear clearly on the map, the territory of Israel is completely covered by Jordan, painted red,” the news site reports. “A line indicating the Israeli border with the Sinai Peninsula does appear in the book.”

A Scholastic official apologized for the “error” and announced the company would correct the mistake before shipping any more copies of the book.

This raises an obvious question: Was Scholastic’s omission of Israel meant as some kind of political statement?

It’s possible. After all, some people believe Israel is an illegitimate country that’s occupying land that rightfully belongs to the Palestinian people. People on the other side of the debate note that Israel’s historical claim to the land traces back to Biblical times, thus predating the Palestinians’ claim.

Perhaps some rogue Scholastic employees were trying to send a subtle message to readers about where they stand on the controversy.

It seems more likely, however, that this defective map is the result of lazy publishing company employees who failed to do their job properly.

While indoctrination is a serious problem infecting America’s schools and textbook manufacturers, ineptitude is a much more common problem – and likely the cause of this relatively minor controversy.

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