In Google, There is No Israel

Monday, May 18, 2015 |  Yossi Aloni

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and American actress Natalie Portman were, according to Google, born in Palestine, not Israel.

Rivlin was born on September 9, 1939 in Jerusalem, in the State of Palestine. That’s what visitors to Google are told when entering Rivlin’s name into the search engine in the Latin alphabet.

This happens with nearly all Israeli personalities that online surfers might want to learn about. Google either says they were born in Palestine, or simply lists the towns in which they were born (and for some died) without specifying a country.

For instance, according to Google, Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, was born in 1886 in Plonsk, Poland, and died in 1973 in Ramat Gan. The State of Israel is not mentioned.

The same is true for legendary Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who is said to have simply died in “Tel Aviv,” President Chaim Weizmann who Google says passed away in Rehovot, and Benjamin Netanyahu, whose birthplace is listed only as Tel Aviv.

What’s frustrating for Israelis is that this policy by Google seems to only apply to searches about Israeli personalities. For those who were born or died in any other country, Google clearly identifies said country.

President Rivlin has stated that he will file an official complaint with Google over this matter.

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