Users of Google Maps can no longer find the name Palestine. Instead, they will be seeing and outline of Palestinian territories, clearly labeled as Israel. More than 150,000 responded by signing a petition against Google’s attempt to wipe Palestine off the maps.
Google’s subtle change of history happened several weeks ago and went more or less unnoticed until the Palestinian Journalists’ Forum (PJF) started an online campaign to draw attention to the issue. The PJF called for the reinstatement of Palestine in Google Maps. The PJF noted that:
“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…. It is an attempt to change history.”
Several hashtag campaigns were launched in response, including #PalestineHere and #BoycottGoogle. Google’s policy has sparked controversy before as it describes its maps as featuring maps that objectively represent realities. Google has neither responded to the campaign nor reinstated Palestine on its maps.
The reality is that Palestine is a nation that has been recognized by 136 member States of the United Nations, the organization that Israel own its legal existence to. Change.org has launched a petition calling on Google maps to reinstate Palestine on the maps. Change.org notes that:
“The omission of Palestine is a grievous insult to the people of Palestine and undermines the efforts of the millions of people who are involved in the campaign to secure Palestinian independence and freedom from Israeli occupation and oppression.”
The petition has swiftly been signed by over 150,000 and the numbers are growing. More than 150,000 people have signed a petition in anger at Google’s decision to “erase Palestine” from Google Maps. Historical precedent shows that “money talks”, so canceling Google ads, is an initiative considered by many.
Other ways to let money talk is to simply use the many alternatives to Google Maps. They are usually not featured on the top of “Google – powered search engines” but handy alternatives. Among the most commonly know alternatives are Bing Maps, Here Map by Nokia, Wiki Mapia, MaoQuest, TomTom Map, Waze Map and Yandex Map. Contacting any on-line map companies who use Google Maps, to kindly ask them to “correct the mistake” is also an option.
Alternatives to Google search engines are, among others, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Quora, Dogpile, Yandex, Yahoo, Boardreader, among many others. It is noteworthy that Google services some 65% of the world’s search traffic, which, in the opinion of many, is dangerously close to a monopoly anyway.
CH/L – nsnbc 09.08.2016
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