Google: We couldn’t have removed Palestine, it never existed on our maps


Google balks at Forum of Palestinian Journalists protesting alleged disappearance of “Palestine” from Google Maps, saying it never had a “Palestine” label on its map application, so nothing has changed.

By Ilan Gattegno, Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff


Internet giant Google on Thursday clarified that, contrary to recent reports by a Palestinian group, it had not removed the “Palestine” label from its maps application.

Pro-Palestinian protesters in Berlin last month – Photo: AFP

A statement by the Forum of Palestinian Journalists, posted on its website on Aug. 3, condemned “the crime carried out by Google in deleting the name of Palestine. We call on Google to rescind its decision and apologize to the Palestinian people.”

The statement, quoted by the Washington Post, said, “The move is designed to falsify history, geography as well as the Palestinian people’s right to their homeland, and [is] a failed attempt to tamper with the memory of Palestinians and Arabs as well as the world.”

As Google Maps is one of the world’s largest sources of geographic data, more than 200,000 people heeded the organization’s call and signed a petition demanding Google reintroduce the label. The protest sprouted a popular Twitter hashtag as well: “#palestineishere.”

But Google maintains it never had a “Palestine” label on its maps to begin with and the allegations are baseless. Google told The Washington Post that since it never had a “Palestine” label on Google Maps, it could not have been deleted. The company asserted that the region’s labeling on the map application has not changed at all.

A senior source at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ office told Israel Hayom that Ramallah had sent a strongly worded letter to Google protesting the move.

“I guess Google decided to go along with what Israel is doing to the Palestinians,” he said.


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