French Magazine for Children Recalls Issue After Calling Israel Not a 'Real Country'

The January issue of Youpi is being removed from Kiosks with an apology over what they said 'clearly never intended to cast into doubt Israel’s existence'

File photo: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to children at a day care near Paris in October, 2017.
POOL/REUTERS

A French children's magazine has been withdrawn from newsstands after it admitted a "mistake" in writing that Israel wasn't a "real country."

The news editor for Youpi, a magazine for children from 5 to 8, told The Associated Press on Tuesday the January issue was being removed from kiosk sales in France and Belgium after writing that Israel was among a few states in the world that aren't "real countries."

The magazine for children features trivia game cards stating that Israel and North Korea are not real countries.

The cards that appeared in the January 2018 edition of the Youpi magazine, which belongs to the Groupe Bayard publishing house, read: “197: We call these 197 countries states, like France, Germany or Algeria. There are others, too, but not all the world’s countries agree that all of them are real countries (for example the State of Israel or North Korea).”

CRIF, the federation of Jewish communities and organizations of France, protested the publication of the cards. Francis Kalifat, the president of CRIF, called the cards, intended for children aged 5-10, a “factual lie and a flagrant one at that.”

Pascal Ruffenach, the president of the Bayard publishing house, which was founded in the 19th century, said in a statement that his establishment “clearly never intended to cast into doubt Israel’s existence,” saying the card in question was an “error.”

The publishing house said it will recall the magazines and pulp the cards in question.