Israel Fails To Get Google To Change 'Palestine' Homepage

Foreign Minister Says Decision Could Impact Peace Talks

Haaretz

By Haaretz

Published June 19, 2013.

A Google representative from the company’s global headquarters has discussed the decision to use “Palestine,” not “Palestinian Territories,” across the tech giant’s products. At the Knesset committee meeting Wednesday, the Israelis didn’t get very far in their attempts to change the American’s mind.

Last month, Google changed the way it refers to the territories, and earlier this week, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin wrote Google CEO Larry Page urging him to reconsider.

In his letter, Elkin wrote that Google’s move in effect recognizes the existence of a Palestinian state. Such a decision is not only mistaken but could impair the government’s efforts to restart direct talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor offered a slightly different view. Israel “has no position vis-à-vis Google, which is neither a political nor a diplomatic entity with any authority to recognize states,” he told Haaretz.

In late May, Israel’s consul general for the northwestern United States, Andy David, handed Google representatives a letter. The Foreign Ministry says the Google people promised that the company would now update Israel about similar changes, even though it might not consult with it.

This is Israel’s sole diplomatic gain in the battle so far.

Read more at Haaretz.com.



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