A French children's magazine has been withdrawn from newsstands after it admitted a "mistake" in writing that Israel wasn't a real country.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 for children ages 5 to 8, told the AP on Tuesday the January issue was being removed from kiosk sales in France and Belgium after the magazine noted that Israel was among a few states in the world that aren't real countries. Per i24NEWS, the blurb in full read: "We call these 197 countries 'states,' like France, Germany, or Algeria. There [are] a few more, but not all other countries in the world agree that these are real states (for example, Israel or North Korea)."
Bertrand Fichou, the magazine's news editor, tells the AP that 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. Its president, Francis Kalifat, tells i24NEWS that the "publication conveys political revisionism" that serves to "delegitimize" Israel "by targeting its youngest readers."