The atlas to be used in schools in the Czech Republic will no longer show Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, instead showing it as Tel Aviv.
The Czech Ministry of Education acquiesced to the request to remove Jerusalem as the capital of Israel due to pressure from the Palestinian Embassy in the Czech Republic.
The atlas, which currently shows Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, is used by middle and high school students all over the Czech Republic.
Khaled el-Atrash, the Palestinian Ambassador in Prague, said that he appreciates the Ministry of Education’s decision.
The ambassador complained after children of Palestinian decent studying in Czech schools showed him that the Atlas both showed and wrote that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
“This map not only presents something which is unacceptable to Palestinians, but also shows something which goes against international law and is against the official position of the European Union – which includes the Czech Republic,” Atrash said.
After seeing the atlas, the Palestinian ambassador decided to go to the Czech Foreign Ministry to request its involvement. The issue was then passed on to be dealt with by the Czech Ministry of Education several weeks later. The ambassador then met with Deputy Education Minister Dana Prodikova, and sent a letter to the Education Ministry.
As a result, the company which makes the atlas was required to list Israel’s capital as Tel Aviv as opposed to Jerusalem, or risk not being commissioned for work with the Education Ministry.
“The information in the atlas will be fixed by the coming school year,” said Ministry of Education Spokesperson Clara Bila.
The Czech Foreign Ministry responded, saying “the Foreign Ministry’s position on the issue of Jerusalem is clear and coincides with the position of the European Union.” Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said that the Czech Republic doesn’t recognize east Jerusalem as part of Israel.
“Shukart (the atlas making company) doesn’t represent Prague’s official position. Countries within the European Union including the Czech Republic, view Jerusalem as the future capital of two countries – Israel and the future Palestinian state.”
Shukart publishing director responded by saying that they will be fixing the “mistake” with the atlas. Another publisher – Cartography Publishing – said that its atlas already shows Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel, but also represents the Israeli government’s position on the matter on the map.