Online outrage after Google ‘erases’ Palestine from the Google maps

Google sparked a big outrage online when it was found that Palestine was erased from Google Maps. The deletion or non-labeling of Palestine, the way you look at it, meant that Google was taking sides in the world’s oldest and longest drawn conflict. At the time of writing this article, thousands have signed a petition urging Google to reinstate Palestine on the maps service after it replaced the partially recognized state’s name with Israel. Palestinian journalists slammed Google for making “failed attempt” aimed at “falsifying history and geography.”

Though Google may be on the right side because the United States has not recognised Palestine as a separate independent state when 136 members of the United Nations recognised Palestine. And Google being a US incorporated company has every right to follow the US government writ. The outrage over ‘erasing’ may be new but the issue is quite old. When searching for Palestine on Google Maps, it shows an outline, but with no label for Palestine and Israel labelled alongside it.

The representation of Palestine on Google Maps has not changed recently, but after the forum of Palestinian journalists released a statement condemning Google, word spread via social media and later news outlets. People began sharing their outrage using the hashtag #PalestineIsHere.

A Change.org petition entitled “Google: Put Palestine on your maps”  has already received 250,000 signatories as of Monday. The petition accuses Google Maps of “making itself complicit in the Israeli government’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine” either on purpose or inadvertently. The petition, drafted by Zak Martin, slams the omission of the UN non-member observer state’s name on the map as a “grievous insult” to Palestinians.

Google quickly put the blame on a bug. A Google spokeswoman said: “There has never been a ‘Palestine’ label on Google Maps, however we discovered a bug that removed the labels for ‘West Bank’ and ‘Gaza Strip’. We’re working quickly to bring these labels back to the area.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. Your article would have been much more objective if it had been closer to the truth:

    1) If Google didn’t label the territories actually occupied by the Palestinian Authority as “Palestine” it is because this country does not exist. It is not because of some Israeli scheme or, as you pretend, because Google is a US based firm.

    2) Google NEVER had the label “Palestine” anywhere. You know what? Because this country does not exist. The country “Israel” however does exist and as always been labeled as “Israel” for the only reason that it is a legitimate country and has been existing for thousands of years.

    It would have been much more objective and interesting if you, instead, had been digging a bit in the reason why, all of a sudden, some people pretend that Google removed a label (Palestine) to change it to something else (Israel), when it has obviously not been the case instead of linking to the petition.

    I don’t think you should be writing about politics on this blog as it is definitely not your strong side.

    Regards,

    Cyril

    • Wasn’t it created on may 14,1948? Before then wasn’t it all Palestine? I’ve yet to see a printed map that didn’t have Palestine labeled, and I just checked the couple atlases I have and the world map to make sure I wasn’t crazy…

      • Nope. The state of Israel existed back in the time of King David. Jerusalem was its capital city. There are enough facts, archeological findings, coins, books, rolls which support this. You can find a bit more about the Kingdom of Israel here => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Israel

        Palestine was a name given by the Romans to the region after the second temple. When they were speaking about “Palestinians” back then, they were talking about the Jews. It was a geographical name given to the place by the Romans.

        Before 1948, when the British ruled the region, they called it Palestine. The flag was a star of David. Likewise, the star of David was on coins used in the region. When people talked about “Palestinians” they were talking about the Jews. When the British were giving passports to “Palestinians” it was with the star of David and it was to Jews. There is actually pictures of these passports all over the net. You should be able to find them with a simple… google-search.

        Back then and even after 1948, Arabs certainly didn’t want to be called “Palestinian”. If you would ever do that, they would get mad at you and tell you that they weren’t Jews but Arabs. “Palestinians” always referred to Jews (until the mid 1960’s that is). The wars were referred to as “Arab-Israeli wars”. Certainly not “Palestinian-Israeli wars” (which in fact is a nonsense, that would be a civil war 🙂 ).

        The Jerusalem post was called “Palestinia Post” (this is why Mahmmoud Abbas made a fool of himself and gave a copy prior to 1948 as a gift to teh king of Saudi Arabia because he thought that ‘proved’ that “Palestinians were there before the Jews”. The Israeli electric company was called “Palesinian electric company” and so on.

        When the terrorist movement PLO showed up, they wanted to free “the Palestine of all Jews” (That is still the goal of Fatah, by the way: to kill all Jews and to take over the whole country). and it is first after that period, well supported by USSR’s propaganda-machine that the Arab from the region became Palestinian.

        What I don’t appreciate about this article is that Techworm just relays news, propaganda-news without checking.

        Google-map have NEVER called this country “Palestine” for the simple reason that it is not the name of the country. It is called Israel.

        They show Jerusalem as the capital, like they always did since it is the people of Israel who decides where is their capital city. And if they want it to be the city that always has been their capital, where is the problem? It is not the inhabitants of other countries to decide.

        Since Google-Map NEVER called this country “Palestine” why does Techworm pretend they removed it? Why does Techworm refer to a petition to “change it back”? Change it back to what? and Why?

        There is more about it here => https://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=5&x_outlet=302&x_article=3418

        I think that techworm should either correct this article or erase it instead of just spreading propaganda. This is not their role… Not that I know of.

        Regards,

        Cyril

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