London University apologizes for map with no Israel

By JONNY PAUL
December 26, 2010 02:34

New Middle East research center at London School of Economics has map of the Middle East that has Beirut and the Gaza Strip but no Israel.

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London University apologizes for map with no Israel

map without israel 298. (photo credit: Courtesy photo)

LONDON – A prestigious British university apologized on Thursday for using a map of the Middle East without Israel in an article in one of its publications.

The alumni magazine of the London School of Economics, LSE Connect, published a story about the school’s new Middle East research center with a map of the Middle East that had Beirut and the Gaza Strip but no Israel.

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In the article, it said that the creation of the center was made possible because of the support of two organizations from the United Arab Emirates. The Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy and the Aman Trust contributed £9.2 million.

“I am outraged that a leading London university institution can falsify reality in this way; is it really necessary to resort to this kind of chicanery in order to placate your Arab donors? Has LSE no academic integrity left? I am ashamed to call myself a graduate,” a former LSE student said in a letter to the publication’s editor.

In a statement, LSE apologized for the error, saying it was a production oversight and that it did not come from the Middle East Center.

“To illustrate a news story in our magazine LSE Connect about the new Middle East Center at LSE, we used a small stock image of a map of the region without realizing that while Israel was colored in on the map, it was not identified in text. This oversight was unfortunately not picked up during the production process. We apologize for any offense caused by its publication and we have updated the online version of LSE Connect to remove the map. We will publish an apology for this error in the next print edition of the magazine,” LSE said.

The center said that under the leadership of its inaugural director, Prof. Fawaz Gerges, and other prominent LSE scholars, it would “engage intellectuals and experienced practitioners to analyze and report on the region’s economics, politics, and culture.

“The center will help train a new generation of specialists drawn from within the region and from the rest of the world. Throughout their careers, they will provide informed and balanced analysis of the nations of the Middle East, and the region’s place in the international community,” its remit states.

One of the new center’s management team of four is Prof. Matha Mundy, from LSE’s Anthropology Department.

Earlier this month, she chaired a student event with Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of pan-Arab newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, who said that he would dance in Trafalgar Square if Iran bombed Israel.

Police are investigating the event, in which Atwan implied the existence of a “Jewish lobby” and supported the efforts of Hamas and Hizbullah, following complaints of anti-Semitism.

Another member is a vocal supporter of sanctions against Israel and a blanket boycott of the Jewish state.

Dr. John Chalcraft, from the Department of Government, describes Israel as a “heavily militarized, nuclear-armed, expansionist apartheid state with extensive illegal settlement, land seizure and wallbuilding activity.”

“We are grateful to LSE for placing Israel back onto their map of the Middle East,” a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy said.

“We look forward to them acting equally swiftly against those who create an atmosphere of intimidation and fear on campus, to the extent that Jewish students feel scared to study in the LSE,” the embassy spokesman said.


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