Palestinian supporters are outraged after seeing a petition urging Google to reinstate Palestine on the maps service, believing that Google “wiped Palestine off the map.” The map recognizes the area as Israel, and local journalists are accusing Google of “falsifying history and geography.” Thousands have signed the petition.
Google removes Palestine from its world Map .. Wow pic.twitter.com/HsQL4nOozp
— AlQubaty (@FakhuusHashim) August 8, 2016
From RT.COM: Over 150,000 signatories have backed a Change.org petition entitled “Google: Put Palestine on your maps” as of Monday, accusing 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.
shame on you google it’s palestine not isreal ??????? pic.twitter.com/KJW8EebHnP
— zaheer (@zxheex) August 8, 2016
Within the past few days, the petition has seen a huge spike in the number of signatories after a statement by the Palestinian Journalists’ Forum (PJF) started an online campaign against Google.
“[This] is part of the Israeli scheme to establish its name as a legitimate state for generations to come and abolish Palestine once and for all,” the statement, cited by the Middle East Monitor, reads.
The group demanded Google reverse its move from July 25 when it removed Palestine’s name completely from its map application by designating all Palestinian territories as Israel. The journalists argued the controversial decision which is “contrary to all international norms and conventions” denies the Palestinians “right to homeland”and merely “designed to falsify history and geography.”
There’s just one problem – according to Washington Post, Google never changed their map. They had never shown the area as Palestine to begin with.
Google Maps didn’t delete Palestine on July 25, as claimed. It hasn’t changed its labeling of the region at all. If you search “Palestine” in Google Maps today, you’ll get the same result you would have gotten five months ago, when a guy named Zak Martin began a Change.org petition on the subject.
In 2013, RT.com reported that Palestine was awarded a non-member observer status at the UN in November 2012 “despite vehement opposition from Israel and its ally US.”
Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas called the General Assembly’s vote a step toward the Palestine’s official statehood, saying that the body “called upon today to issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine.” Following the vote, the PA sent a letter to Google calling on it to include Palestine into its countries’ index. In 2013 the company had satisfied the request changing the tagline on its Palestinian version from ‘Palestinian territories’ to ‘Palestine’.
“We’re changing the name ‘Palestinian Territories’ to ‘Palestine’ across our products. We consult a number of sources and authorities when naming countries. In this case, we are following the lead of the UN…and other international organizations,” Google spokesperson Nathan Tyler said at the time.
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