Google Recognizes Palestine as an Independent State, “Israel” Rejects
Google has recognized Palestine as an independent state, Google altered the wording on its local google.ps homepage to “Palestine,” from “Palestinian territories” – a move being interpreted by some as tantamount to a digital endorsement of the Palestinian cause.
“We’re changing the name ‘Palestinian Territories’ to ‘Palestine’ across our products. We consult a number of sources and authorities when naming countries,” said Google spokesman Nathan Tyler, according to the BBC.
“In this case, we are following the lead of the UN, Icann [the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers], ISO [International Organisation for Standardisation] and other international organisations.”
The United Nations recently recognized Palestine as a “non-member observer state,” in a move that was strongly opposed by both “Israel” and its chief ally, the United States.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) welcomed Google’s decision.
“This is a step in the right direction, a timely step and one that encourages others to join in and give the right definition and name for Palestine instead of Palestinian territories,” Dr Sabri Saidam, advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told the BBC.
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin accused Google Inc. of recognizing a Palestinian state when it decided on May 1 to include Palestine in its list of options for national pages.
In a letter to Google CEO Larry Page, Elkin wrote that by doing so Google is in essence the existence of a Palestinian state.
He added that Google’s decision is not only mistaken but could also negatively impact efforts to have peace negotiations between “Israel” and the Palestinian Authority.
According to the Jerusalem Post, he added that Google has brought about so many positive changes in the world by promoting connections between people and between peoples.
This decision, however, is in contradiction to such aims, and distances the parties from real dialogue.
He asked Page to meet with Israeli representatives to discuss the issue.