Report: Algeria Pulls Textbook That Features Israel on World Map

An official with Algeria's Islamic Renaissance Movement accuses the Algerian education ministry of 'abolishing Palestine and replacing it with the Zionist entity.'

A Google map of Israel and surrounding countries (illustrative).
Screenshot

An Algerian textbook featuring a map that includes Israel but doesn't mention Palestine landed the country's education minister in hot water, the London-based pan Arab news site Asharq al-Awsat reported Saturday.

The high school geography textbook, Asharq al-Awsat reported, "labeled a map of Palestine as Israel." Algeria has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

According to the report, the "scandal" prompted the Education Ministry to withdraw the book and launch a probe. 

The incident caused an uproar on social media and calls for  Education Minister Nouria Benghabrit's resignation were voiced. Benghabrit, in turn, said that the version of the book the ministry had approved did not include Israel on the map. According to the report, she blamed the publisher for the "mistake."

The newspaper's website noted that the Algerian education minister had already come under fire from Islamists and conservatives for allegedly opposing Arab and Islamic identity in the former French colony as a result of her purported preference for French.

Asharq al-Awsat quoted a Facebook post from Youssef Khababeh of Algeria's Islamic Renaissance Movement party as saying that the map constituted a crime. “The ministry abolished Palestine and replaced it with the Zionist entity in a school book,” he reportedly said in the post.