Israel upset by Google's recognition of Palestine

Monday, May 06, 2013 |  Israel Today Staff

Israel on Sunday expressed its displeasure at Google's decision last week to officially recognize "Palestine" as an independent state.

Up until last week, anyone visiting the localized version of would see the label "Palestinian Territories." Now, that same page simply labels the localized version of Google as belonging to "Palestine."

Google officials said the move was in line with the United Nation's recent upgrading of "Palestine" to non-member state status, a de facto recognition of Palestine's independence, as well as UNESCO's open acceptance of a sovereign Palestinian state.

But Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin stated in a letter to Google CEO Larry Page that the Internet giant's new policy will actually complicate reaching a peace agreement that results in the creation of a real Palestinian state.

"This is intervention by an international company in local politics, [and] does not serve the interests of either party in the long-term," wrote Elkin.

While many in Israel's government agree that the peace process will lead to the creation of a Palestinian state, they argue that permitting the Palestinian Authority to achieve this goal in a unilateral way will only perpetuate the conflict.

The Israeli minister called on Google to rethink its "erroneous decision."

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