Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
Eiffel Tower in Paris, FranceFlash 90

A French children's magazine claimed that the State of Israel 'does not exist', according to the head of CRIF, the French umbrella organization for Jewish organizations.

The most recent edition of the monthly Youpi magazine includes a map of all the countries in the world. The magazine, which is aimed at children aged 5-8, 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)."

Francis Kalifat, the president-elect of the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF), the umbrella organization for Jewish organisations in France, condemned the magazine for questioning Israel's existence. "To say that Israel is not a 'true state' is a grave lie in the face of history ... Israel's existence is an internationally recognized truth."

"Israel has been recognized as a sovereign state since 1948 and by the United Nations since 1949," he said. In an interview with i24 News, he accused the magazine of "targeting its youngest readers" in its delegitimization of the State of Israel.

Kalifat said that he had written to publisher Bayer calling on the magazine to "produce an article in the next issue to explain what Israel is, so as to accurately inform" its young readers that Israel exists.

Serge Dehan, the president of B'nei B'rith France, also condemned the magazine for "banishing Israel from the nations" of the world. He accused the magazine of "conditioning children to hate Israel."