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New Zealand government website erases Israel from map, replaces it with Palestine

New Zealand government website erases Israel from map, replaces it with Palestine
New Zealand’s immigration website deleted a fact sheet about Palestine from its website after it caused outrage for identifying Israel as Palestine on a map.

The government website published the map as part of a fact sheet about Palestinian immigrants in New Zealand, showing Israel highlighted in blue and marked as ‘Palestine’. The West Bank is not included in the highlighted area.

The Israel Institute of New Zealand called on the immigration minister to “immediately apologize for the offending image and confirm that it does not reflect government policy.” It also called for an investigation.

The institute’s director, Ashley Church, described the map as “incredibly offensive and the equivalent of New Zealand Immigration displaying a map of the UK which removed Scotland and Wales and referred to the entirety of the British Isles as England,” the Jewish News reports.

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The map notes East Jerusaleum as the “designated capital” of the Palestinian state, which the Institute took issue with. The document also refers to the “massive repression of Palestinians” caused by Israel during the Second Intifada, and points to Israel’s economic sanctions and blockade on Gaza.

Ironically, New Zealand is a country that’s often left off maps. Ikea was forced to apologize in February after it sold a map that was missing New Zealand. The tourism board even launched a #GetNZontheMap campaign last year, featuring Prime Minister Jacinda Arden.

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