Searching for Palestine on Google Maps? No, you won’t be able to find it.
Google has removed Palestine from Google Maps. This has sparked an online outrage by a petition and a hashtag – #PalestineIsHere.
Over 150,000 signatories have backed a Change.org petition entitled “Google: Put Palestine on your maps”, accusing Google Maps of “making itself complicit in the Israeli government’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine” either on purpose or inadvertently.have participated in this mission to bring back Palestine.
A Gaza City-based journalists groups claimed that the nation of Palestine had literally been wiped from Google’s maps. “The Forum of Palestinian Journalists condemns the crime carried out by Google in deleting the name of Palestine and calls for Google to rescind its decision and apologize to the Palestinian people.”
While, the West Bank territory is recognized by a Google Maps search, but it appears without a label. However, Gaza is labeled.
In 2013, Israeli politician Moshe Gafni, then-chairman of the Knesset Science and Technology Committee, told “Google how crucial and influential their labeling of territories is after the company changed “Palestinian Territories” to “Palestine” on some of their other platforms.
“And with one word Google can change the very order of things,” Gafni said, according to Haaretz. “Whether I am living in Micronesia or in Europe, when I open Google, I find that your company has changed one word, which, in turn, changes the very laws of nature.”
In response to this Twitter users created the hashtag #PalestineIsHere and #BoycottGoogle to show their anguish.
This is not the first time when Google Maps has come under the attack for showing wrong boundaries. In recent past, Google had shown a part of India occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the Pakistan territory for which they have to pay a hefty fine to Government of India.