CNN omits Israel from Middle East map

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — CNN posted a map on the CNNMoney feature on its website that replaced Israel with “Palestina.”

The map was posted on Wednesday on the “Syria and the Middle East” section of the feature article “Beyond ISIS: 2016’s scariest geopolitical hot spots.”

“Palestina” is a Spanish or Portuguese translation of Palestine. The image was taken from Getty Images’ iStock and is not a creation of CNN’s graphics team, according to the media watchdog HonestReporting, which first reported the map.

The graphic was later replaced with a photo of the aftermath of a Syrian airstrike in Aleppo.

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“While we question how the error occurred at all, nonetheless we commend CNN for taking prompt action,” HonestReporting said in a statement on its webpage, saying that the switch came following its flagging of the map and “the complaints of many HonestReporting subscribers.”

HonestReporting Managing Editor Simon Plosker wrote: “Whether it was an oversight or something more sinister, CNN’s illustration of the Middle East without Israel is completely unacceptable. At a time when the state’s very legitimacy is being called into question by vicious anti-Israel extremists, any message that Israel does not belong in the Middle East plays into this false narrative and feeds those like the Iranian ayatollahs who wish to see Israel erased from the map.”

In January, veteran CNN anchor Jim Clancy resigned after a series of Twitter posts in which he mocked pro-Israel tweeters on a thread discussing the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

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