Google Palestine: Internet Superpower Google Recognizes Palestine As a Nation

On Friday, Google followed the lead of the United Nations and other international organisation, including Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation), and recognized Palestine by changing the tagline on its homepage for the occupied territories, google.ps, from "Palestinian Territories" to just "Palestine." In a statement, Google 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 [the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers], ISO [International Organisation for Standardisation] and other international organisations."


The Palestinian Authority (PA) has welcomed the decision. "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," said Dr. Sabri Saidam, adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The move follows a request by the PA after the UN voted in November last year to upgrade Palestine's status in the organisation for international companies, including Google, to make the switch from "Palestinian Territories" to "Palestine."

Israel, unsurprisingly, is not so happy with the decision. Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the change "raises questions about the reasons behind this surprising involvement of what is basically a private internet company in international politics and on the controversial side." That, of course, is conveniently forgetting all the private companies that are complicit in Israel's occupation, including those involved in the construction of the illegal wall.

While the change may seem trivial to some, the choice of words is highly significant in terms of how one portrays the Israeli-Palestine conflict, whether one uses "security fence" or "apartheid wall," or "dispute territories" instead of "occupied territories." Now at least, as the Guardian half jokingly notes in its title for the story, Palestine has been recognised by a greater power than either the U.S. or Israel. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Aubrey Bloomfield

Politics intern at PolicyMic. Recent graduate with an Honours (First Class) degree in International Relations. Moved to New York last year. Loves politics, international relations, music (especially Neil Young), food (especially dumplings), and space.

MORE FROM

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.