Outrage after Google ‘erases’ Palestine off world map News by Daily karachi
Thousands have signed a petition urging Google to reinstate Palestine on the maps service after it replaced the partially recognised state’s name with Israel.
Local journalists berated the move as a “failed attempt” aimed at “falsifying history and geography,” according to RT.
A Change.org petition titled “Google: Put Palestine on your maps” has attracted over 150,000 signatures 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.
A statement by the Palestinian Journalists’ Forum [PJF] triggered 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.
According to the group, Google removed Palestine’s name completely from its map application by designating all Palestinian territories as Israel on July 25. The journalists have asked the company to fix the error, arguing the controversial decision which is “contrary to all international norms and conventions,” denies the Palestinians “right to homeland” and is merely “designed to falsify history and geography.”
If one tries to type Palestine into Google Maps search, they will be shown a blank space within Israel’s territory marking the areas of Gaza, Judea and Samaria with a dashed line, without naming them. Angered Twitter users started the hashtags, #BoycottGoogle and #PalestineIsHere with people venting their frustration at Google for apparently taking sides in a protracted conflict. Some even threatened to switch to other search engines or stop using some of its services if the US tech giant sticks to its decision.