Mayor of Yerushalayim Nir Barkat was jubilant on Wednesday over the news that the Czech Education Ministry has rescinded its order to designate Tel Aviv, rather than Yerushalayim, as the capital of Israel in school atlases.
“Yerushalayim is on the map!” Barkat declared in a press release. “Truth has indeed overcome lies: The Czech government has reversed its decision and Czech textbooks will correctly teach that Yerushalayim is the capital of Israel.”
In response to a complaint from Palestinian Ambassador to Prague Khlaed Alattrash, the ministry told textbook publisher Shocart that its map designations must conform to international law and the policy of the European Union, which do not recognize the city as Israel’s capital.
Shocart was quick to acquiesce, describing its listing of Yerushalayim as the capital “a mistake,” and promising to correct it in the 2017 edition.
Barkat sent a letter to Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on Sunday, asking him to reverse the decision.
That, and protests from the local Jewish community, appeared to cause the government to reconsider.
Education Minister Katerina Valachova’s told Czech Radio on Tuesday night: “Yerushalayim is Israel’s capital from the viewpoint of the declaration of the country to which this relates, which means Israel,” Valachova said. “If there is a sentence relating to all of the international steps, I believe that this fact will not offend either side.”