A map of the Middle East in an Algerian geography textbook that labels Israel by that name rather than with "Palestine" has evoked a public furor.This understates the level of outrage from this unspeakable crime.
In response, the Ministry of National Education announced that the textbook would be removed from the seventh grade curriculum and that an investigation would be launched.
The offending map listing 'Israel' as opposed to 'Palestine'
The ministry explained that the publishing house responsible for the book was at fault, claiming that the version that they approved did not include the word "Israel." The publishing house's director, Hamidou Masudi, apologized "for offending the Algerian's sensitivities. This was a lapse and an unintentional mistake."
Masudi explained that the book's designer was under the pressure of a deadline, downloaded a map from the internet that labeled the Jewish state as "Israel."
Minister of National Education Nouria Benghebrit has received the brunt of the criticism. One opinion piece in the Algerian newspaper Echorouk was entitled, "Hasn't the time come for this minister to go?"
Echorouk's article about this calls the error "unprecedented" and "catastrophic" and openly wonders if this was not a deliberate act on the part of Algerian authorities.
The head of the National Association of Parents, Khaled Ahmed said that "the perpetrator deserves the maximum penalty."
Another member of the National Organization of Parents, Samir Kasuri, said that the new books were reviewed by more than 200 specialists who checked every word and line and comma and therefore there are only two possible explanations: either because there are no experts among the specialists, or they did it deliberately.
Here is the map in context:
This was reported in BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera and other major Arabic-language media.