The mammoth Google search engine “never had a label for ‘Palestine’ on its Maps app,” according to a spokesperson for the internet giant who responded to outraged Palestinian Authority journalists who claimed Google deliberately removed the name “Palestine” as part of a plot hatched with Israel to wipe the entity out of existence.
A bug in the system apparently cleared “West Bank” and “Gaza City” from the labeling system, according to the spokesperson — but that change was spotted immediately by a journalist in Gaza.
‘[Our group] condemns the crime carried out by Google in deleting the name of Palestine, and calls for Google to rescind its decision and apologize to the Palestinian people,” the Forum of Palestinian Journalists said in a statement this week.
However, in response, a Google spokesperson said, “There has never been a ‘Palestine’ label on Google Maps, however we discovered a bug that removed the labels for ‘West Bank’ and ‘Gaza Strip.’ We’re working quickly to bring these labels back to the area.”
Thousands of desperate tweets have been — and still are — circulating madly around the internet, with users frantically warning that Palestine has disappeared from Google Maps.
“I thought it was just rumors, but Google completely removed Palestine from Google maps”…. and on and on.
Apparently Google has now become a major player in the diplomatic community — which must be news to the CEO of Google, who probably never signed on to that bird’s nest.
“250 people have signed petition bit.ly/GooglePalestine demanding @googlemaps recognise #Palestine #PalestineIsHere” tweeted Keith Taylor of South East Brussels, a member of the European Parliament from South East England and the Green Party.
Even #BlackLivesMatter is getting into the act — of course it’s a great gravy train to ride for publicity — and is now “standing up for Palestine” as well, although the two issues are in two different places and have absolutely no relevance to each other whatsoever.
Bottom line: There was never a “Palestine” tag to begin with, and the labels “West Bank” and “Gaza” were accidentally deleted, folks.
Take a deep breath. They’re being restored.Hana Levi Julian