Feeds

Google formally recognises Palestine: Puts it on the virtual map

Following the lead of the UN, ICANN

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.