Palestine recognised online
London – Tom Rollins
Internet giant Google has changed the tagline of its local homepage for Palestine from the “Palestinian Territories” to “Palestine,” attracting criticism from Israel.
The May 1 change means that google.ps will
now say “Palestine” in English and Arabic underneath the Google logo.
But some have criticised the move.
For some Israelis, the name Palestine is inherently controversial.
Israel considers any formal use of the word Palestine as pre-judging the outcome of currently stalled peace talks.
Others claim Palestine as a state has never and should never exist.
The change comes after the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade the status of West Bank-based Palestinian Authority to “non-member observer status.”
Google spokesman Nathan Tyler 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, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, has welcomed Google’s decision.