Czech textbooks drop Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
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Czech textbooks drop Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Decision to replace the holy city with Tel Aviv comes following Palestinian complaints

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka arrives for a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin (unseen), at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, May 22, 2014 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka arrives for a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin (unseen), at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, May 22, 2014 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Tel Aviv will replace Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a Czech school atlas, following Palestinian complaints.

Khaled Atlattrash, Palestinian ambassador to Prague, raised the issue earlier this month with the Czech Foreign Ministry, and subsequently the Education Ministry, after local Palestinian parents alerted him to texts and maps depicting Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.

Israel regards the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while the international community regards the eastern part of the city — including the whole of the Old City — as occupied territory.

“The data in the atlas will be corrected as of the New Year,” the Prague Daily Monitor quoted Czech Education Ministry spokeswoman Klara Bila as saying.

“The Czech Republic does not consider East Jerusalem a part of the State of Israel,” Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Irena Valentova said, adding that the atlas, published by Shocart, did not express Prague’s official position.

“The EU member countries, including the Czech Republic, view Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, i.e. the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine,” Valentova said.

Shocart managers said they overlooked the issue in the atlas.

In December 2014, Harper Collins omitted Israel as a whole from atlas maps distributed to English-speaking schools in the Middle East.

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