Israeli government responds to the internet giant, Google, recognizing “Palestine” 
on its search engine despite the Palestinians refusal to negotiate a peace agreement with Israel!

“We’re changing the name ‘Palestinian territories’ to ‘Palestine’ across our products,” Google spokesman Nathan Tyler reported. “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 Organization for Standardization] and other international organizations.” In response, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page, asking him to reconsider his decision. According to Elkin,

“By doing so Google is in essence recognizing the existence of a Palestinian state. Such a decision is in my opinion not only mistaken but could also negatively impinge on the efforts of my government to bring about direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”

Thus far, the Palestinian Authority has refused to negotiate a peace agreement with Israel, preferring to pursue unilateral measures so that the Palestinian Authority won’t have to compromise on any issue. The Palestinian Authority would rather pursue unilateral steps towards statehood, so that they can compel Israel to give into their demands without having to give any thing in return. The Israeli government has noted in the past how international acceptance of such unilateral measures undermine the peace process, because the demands that the PA makes of Israel cannot reasonably be met and encouraging the Palestinians to think that international pressure can help them does not bring the Palestinians closer to statehood in the slightest, but rather further away from it.

For Israelis, this move by Google in support of Palestinian unilateralism comes as a shock, since Google has had a positive working relationship with the Jewish state spanning decades. Elkin continued, “Google has brought about so many positive changes in the world by promoting connections between people and between peoples. This decision, however, is in contradiction to such aims, and distances the parties from real dialogue. 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 negotiation and mutual agreement.

Elkin was not the only Israeli official to address this issue. “This change raises questions about the reasons behind this surprising involvement of what is basically a private internet company in international politics – and on the controversial side,” foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor reported. In the past, Google has generally shied away from expressing political views and until 2009 essentially ignored the existence of the Palestinian Authority. However, less than a year after the UN declared Palestine to be a non-member state, Google has made the political statement of recognizing Palestine.

By Rachel Avraham