Children's Magazine Under Fire for Suggesting Israel Is Not a Real Country, Like North Korea

A French magazine for children has been withdrawn after one issue claimed Israel was not a real country.

Youpi is a magazine for children aged five to eight. The January issue states: "There are 197 countries, like France, Algeria or Germany. There are a few more, but not all other countries in the world agree that they are real countries (for example the State of Israel or North Korea)."

French Jewish organization CRIF called for the magazine to be withdrawn. It said on Twitter: "The existence of Israel is an internationally recognized truth. Say the opposite is to join the camp of those who believe that Israel should not exist. I urge you therefore - to immediately remove the sales number - issue a corrigendum."

Following a social media uproar, Youpi editor Bertrand Fichou told the Associated Press that the January issue was being removed from kiosk sales in France and Belgium. He apologized for the mistake and added: "I'll blame myself for it all my life."

The incident occurred as the region is witnessing renewed tensions due to the recent decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The move has sparked deadly protests.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest issues in the region, as both Israel and the Palestinians claim sovereignty over the city.

Israel
An Israeli flag flutters on the roof of a building of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem opposite the Dome of the Rock (L) in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, on December 5, 2017. The state of Israel was created in 1948, following a United Nations vote—Resolution 181—to partition Palestine between a Jewish state and an Arab state. THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)

The state of Israel was created in 1948, following a United Nations vote—Resolution 181—to partition Palestine between a Jewish state and an Arab state.

As per the document, "the City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations."

Israel occupied Jerusalem, home to sites holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, following the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It claims the whole city is its capital, but its sovereignty has not been recognized by the international community.

Palestinians claim East Jerusalem will be the capital of their future state and the whole issue should be part of peace talks to find a solution to the decades-long conflict.