Pro-Palestine activists have launched an online campaign calling on Google and Apple to put Palestine back on their maps, accusing the internet giants of trying to erase Palestinian identity and changing facts to suit American and Israeli objectives.
“According to Google, Palestine does not exist,” a change.org petition with over one million signatories says.
“Whether intentionally or otherwise, Google is making itself complicit in the Israeli government’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine.”
Google has been replacing the names of Palestinian towns and villages with Israeli names, leading to fears that the search engine is normalising Israel’s planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank in line with US President Donald Trump’s controversial ‘peace plan‘.
“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 adds, calling on Google to “clearly designate and identify the Palestinian territories illegally occupied by Israel.”
Move a violation of international law, says Palestinian minister
The official Palestinian News Agency (WFA) reported that Twitter users launched a campaign against Google and Apple under the hashtag #FreePalestine, for ignoring the documented historical facts of the Palestinian cause.
Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Riyad Al Maliki, said he sent an official message to the management of the two companies to protest the removal of the map of Palestine, accusing the two search engines of submitting to “pressure and blackmail” of Israel.
Al Maliki told the official Palestinian radio that “delisting the name of the state of Palestine in the maps of the two companies constitutes a violation of international law and subject to Israeli pressure and blackmail, and in the event that they do not retract, we will resort to filing lawsuits against them.”
He added that work is being done to determine the international legal body that will be approached, to file a case against the two companies, and it will be easy to try the officials of the two companies if they insist on violating international law.
Sources: Middle East Monitor & Gulf News