A French children’s magazine has been withdrawn from newsstands after it admitted a “mistake” in writing that Israel wasn’t a “real country.”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 published by Groupe Bayard for children from 5 to 8, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the January issue was being removed from newsstand sales in France and Belgium after writing that Israel was among a few states in the world that aren’t “real countries.”
Bertrand Fichou said he humbly apologizes for the mistake and that his intention wasn’t to challenge the legitimacy of the state of Israel.
He said that “I’ll blame myself for it all my life.”
The two-sentence text caused an uproar on social media, and French Jewish group CRIF asked the publisher to remove the January issue from sales.
The offending lines, printed on trivia card games that came with the issue, read: “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).”
The publishing house, Frances’s oldest, said it will recall the magazines and pulp the cards in question.