French children’s magazine teaches ‘Israel not a real country’

French Jewish umbrella organization roundly condemns children’s magazine for saying Israel is not a real country and “conditioning children to hate Israel.”

By: Jack Ben-David, World Israel News

France’s leading Jewish organization has reported that a French magazine is informing children that “Israel does not exist.”

A map presented in the latest issue of Youpi magazine, geared for children aged 5-8, shows all the countries in the world, but excludes Israel and North Korea, Arutz -7 reported.

“There are 197 countries, like France, Algeria or Germany. There are a few more, but not all other countries in the world agree that they are real countries (for example the State of Israel or North Korea),” the magazine informs its readers.

The magazine was roundly condemned by French businessman and philanthropist Francis Kalifat, president-elect of the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF), the umbrella organization for Jewish groups in France.

“To say that Israel is not a ‘true state’ is a grave lie in the face of history… Israel’s existence is an internationally recognized truth,” Kalifat said, according to Arutz-7.

“Israel has been recognized as a sovereign state since 1948 and by the United Nations since 1949,” he added, accusing the publication of “targeting its youngest readers.”

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Kalifat wrote to the publisher, Editions Bayard Jeunesse, demanding that Youpi “produce an article in the next issue to explain what Israel is so as to accurately inform” its readership that Israel is a “real country” and does exist.

Serge Dehan, president of France’s B’nai Brith, echoed Kalifat’s outrage, slamming the magazine for “banishing Israel from the nations” of the world, adding that the magazine’s inflammatory content was “conditioning children to hate Israel,” Arutz-7 said.

The publisher apologized “to all those who may have been hurt” by the publication. “This does not mean that Bayard does not recognize the existence of Israel.”

The magazine’s calling into question of Israel’s legitimacy sparked major backlash on social media, Israel’s i24 News reported. Israeli Ambassador to France Aliza Bin Noun saying she was “shocked” at the publication, which she said encourages anti-Semitism.