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Aug 13, 2016
As Google Maps are now regarded as definitive by people around the world, including journalists, students and others carrying out research into the Israel-Palestine situation and perception is at least as important, at this stage, as events “on the ground,” recognition of Palestine by Google may even turn out to be as important as recognition by organizations like the U.N.
What you may not be aware of is that Palestine – or at least the “Palestinian Territories” – were previously designated in Google Maps, but all mention of Palestine was removed at the insistence of the Israeli government, which claimed that by including Palestine in its maps, Google was interfering with the “peace process” by pre-empting the outcome of any two-state solution that might be reached.
Google’s two Jewish founders have close links with Israel and its leaders might have had some bearing on their willingness to acquiesce to Israel’s demands.
If this argument had any merit at the time it was made (and of course it didn’t), it certainly cannot be claimed to have any merit now that Palestine has been given de facto recognition by the UN, and the Israeli government has made it clear that it has no intention of ever agreeing to a two state solution or giving back the Palestinian land it illegally occupies. The “peace process” is dead and buried.
Google has no grounds whasoever for omitting Palestine from its maps. The fact that Israel – an artificial state established on Palestinian territory – is clearly designated on Google Maps, while Palestine itself has been “airbrushed” out, is outrageous and deeply offensive to Palestinians. It is the online parallel of Israel’s policy of demolishing Palestinian villages and changing Palestinian place names in an effort to erase Palestine from the map. Google is aiding and abetting the Israeli government in this ethnic cleansing program.
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