Feeds

Google formally recognises Palestine: Puts it on the virtual map

Following the lead of the UN, ICANN

Website security in corporate America

Google has waded into the Middle East's most intractable conflict by recognising Palestine as an independent state.

On 1 May, the advertising giant wiped the term Palestinian Territories from its localised search page, replacing it with Palestine.

It follows a UN decision in October to name Palestine a non-member, observer state. This allows Palestinians to join UN debates and, in theory, join global bodies such as the International Criminal Court.

Anyone who accesses www.google.ps is shown the Google search page with the word Palestine beneath it, whereas before the phrase Palestinian Territories was used.

It may be a minor change, but Mountain View's move has been criticised by some politicians in Israel, where it was slammed in some quarters for getting involved in a complex and apparently unsolvable conflict, although it was welcomed by some left-wing Israelis.

In a statement, Google spokesman Nathan Tyler said: "We're changing the name 'Palestinian Territories' to 'Palestine' across our products. We consult a number of sources and authorities when naming countries. In this case, we are following the lead of the UN, ICANN, ISO [International Organisation for Standardisation] and other international organisations."

Google's "controversial" decision angered the Israeli foreign ministry: "This change raises questions about the reasons behind this surprising involvement of what is basically a private Internet company in international politics," foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

Dr Sabri Saidam, advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, was delighted. He said: "This is a step in the right direction, a timely step and one that encourages others to join in and give the right definition and name for Palestine instead of Palestinian territories.

"Most of the traffic that happens now happens in the virtual world and this means putting Palestine on the virtual map as well as on the geographic maps." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.