Google is facing criticism from leftists after the search engine removed the fictitious country of “Palestine” from its maps on July 25 and outlined the areas historically recognized as Gaza, Judea and Samaria with dashes instead.
Local ABC News affiliate ABC 10, via Scripps Media, reports that the move has prompted some social media users to respond with the hashtag #PalestineIsHere.
— Fatih Başcı (@fatihbasci) August 9, 2016
No matter how much you zoom in, can’t find Palestine anymore in the google maps. They decided to remove the country, shame! #PalestineIsHere
— George Orfanakis (@G_Orfan) August 8, 2016
— Jalal M. Kobtan (@jalalkobtan) August 10, 2016
The report then then incorrectly states that Israel was founded “on Palestinian grounds.” Israel has been the home of the Jewish people for millennia, and Jews maintained a presence there even during centuries of persecution. The settlers who built contemporary Israel did so based on land they had legally bought, and the State of Israel was founded in 1948 based on approval by the United Nations in 1947 of a partition of the British Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state.
Arab leaders decided not to build their own state and to attack the Jewish state instead. Future efforts at establishing a Palestinian state await the outcome of negotiations, which Palestinians have continued to reject.
Although the United Nations does not recognize Palestine as a state with official status, the UN gave Palestine the status of “non-member observer state” in November of 2012.
Meanwhile, Palestinian activists have applied “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) tactics, which they constantly use against Israel, in an attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state on Google, starting the #BoycottGoogle hashtag on social media.
— YvonneSugrue (@YvonneNiShiocru) August 9, 2016
— ❌Gallinini❌ (@gallinini1) August 9, 2016
Arab Muslims also indicated their refusal to recognize the State of Israel:
— خَالِدٌ (@Khaled_Rafahawy) July 29, 2016
Freedom for Palestine Freedom from the Zionist entity rapist Freedom of Jerusalem✋✋✋#boycottGoogle
— Mido marzok (@063dbf9d695540c) July 29, 2016
ABC 10 also notes that a Change.org petition, which was drafted by Zak Martin on March 2, asks for Google to recognize Palestine on its maps. The petition has collected over 275,000 signatures so far.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz