“When a company like Google comes along and supports this line, it actually pushes peace further away, pushes away negotiations, and creates among the Palestinian leadership the illusion that in this manner they can achieve the result.”
— Zeev Elkin, deputy Israeli Foreign Minister, on Google’s move last week to change its Palestinian home page previously labeled “Palestinian Territories” to “Palestine.” Elkin has reportedly written a letter to Google CEO Larry Page asking the company to reconsider the change. In November, the United Nations declared Palestine a “non-member observer state,” a move that angered Israel and was opposed by the United States but was supported by 138 nations. Google told the BBC last week that it is following the lead of the U.N. and other international organizations. Google has ”put Palestine on the Internet map, making it a geographical reality,” said Sabri Saidam, adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to Reuters, which also noted that the Palestinians have invited Google to come and gather more data for its maps.
Photo of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by Getty Images