Google.ps Changes Tagline To ‘Palestine’, Controversy Erupts Out Of Israel

Google on May 1 changed the tagline on Google.ps from “Palestinian Territories” to “Palestine,” and that simple change has pushed Google directly into the path for one of the most heated political issues on the planet.

Speaking to the BBC, Sabri Saidam, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, revealed:

“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.”

While Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, told Israel’s Army Radio:

“I think that the Google decision from the last few days is very, very problematic. When a company like Google comes along and supports this line, it actually pushes peace further away, pushes away negotiations, and creates among the Palestinian leadership the illusion that in this manner they can achieve the result.”

Google made the choice to change the Google.ps tagline after the UN recently granted Palestine the status of “non-member observer state. ”

In a statement regarding its decision, a Google spokesperson 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, ISO [International Organization for Standardization] and other international organizations.”

The Jerusalem Post notes that Elkin took his statement one step further by sending a letter to Google CEO Larry Page in which he wrote:

“Google is in essence recognizing the existence of a Palestinian state. I would be grateful were you to reconsider this decision since it entrenches the Palestinians in their view that they can further their political aims through one-sided actions rather than through negotiating and mutual agreement.”

At the time of this post, the Google.ps tagline still simply reads “Palestine.”