HarperCollins is pulling its Middle East Atlas from sale in all territories, and has apologized for leaving Israel off the map, while distinctly leaving an enlarged Jordan and including Gaza.
The company said that all remaining HarperCollins Atlas’s not yet sold will be pulped.
HarperCollins initially explained that “local preferences” of the Gulf State countries took precedence over including Israel on the map, something their Arab customers found “unacceptable.”
The decision to omit Israel elicited a tremendous amount of anger online.
Who knew that world atlas publishers took "local preferences" into account? It must be something along the lines of personal email preferences whereby I can tell Gmail how to arrange and present my messages. Now we can all have the world we want just by letting HarperCollins know about our preferences. This acknowledgement by HarperCollins raises all kinds of new possibilities for world geography: maybe Greek Cypriots would prefer not to have the northern part of their island show any signs of Turkish occupation; maybe the Republic of Ireland would prefer that Northern Ireland join it - it's easy, just alter the map; for sure the Islamic State would prefer that the map of the whole Middle East be redrawn - they must know now that they've gone about it the wrong way. HarperCollins, ever accommodating to local preferences, will do its utmost to make sure that its world atlas will be acceptable to them.