Petition update

Perception Is Everything

Google: Put Palestine On Your Maps!

Aug 18, 2016 — Friends,

We are up against the most powerful corporation on the planet, which is in league with two of the most powerful governments on the planet.

The importance of this issue cannot be overstated. This is a war of perception. A war for the hearts and minds of the people who, on the basis of misleading propaganda, support Israel either actively or tacitly by failing to speak out against Israel's brutal occupation and ethnic cleansing and apartheid policies.

If a state does not exist on the world's most authoritative maps, then it ceases to exist in public consciousness and public perception. Eventually, it ceases to exist *in fact*. Children around the world are now being taught geography with a map of the Middle East in which no such place as Palestine exists. Instead, the whole of Palestine is titled "ISRAEL".

Make no mistake, the omission of Palestine from Google Maps is a deliberate act in support of Israel's ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign. It is the online parallel of events taking place on the ground.

Google representatives have claimed that Palestinian land is delineated by broken lines (without being named) because the borders are "contested". But contested by whom? Contested only by Israel. The Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is illegal under international law. By refusing to identify Palestine in its maps, Google has in effect - and in fact - aligned itself with the Israeli government's position and its illegal and unjust policies.

Last week our campaign, and the issues it raises, was featured extensively in newspapers and media outlets around the world, including The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, India Times, Breitbart, Russia Today, The Jerusalem Post and many others. When Google was asked to comment, a spokesperson responded by pointing out that Palestine had not been deleted from Google Maps, and that in fact it had never been listed in the first place. This is a bit like a man who is accused of beating his wife the previous day arguing that the charge is false because he has actually been beating her for years, but it was Google's idea of a "denial".

This Google statement was a response to a claim made by an individual not connected in any way with this campaign, or with this petition, who had mistakenly stated that Google had recently deleted Palestine from its maps. However, neither I nor anyone connected with this campaign, or this petition, have ever claimed that the omission of Palestine was a recent deletion.

The aim of this campaign, and the name of this petition, is "Google: Put Palestine On Your Maps". Not "Google: restore Palestine to your maps". The issue is not whether Palestine was ever included in Google Maps. The issue is that it ought to be included, and there is no excuse for not including it. And if it wasn't included in the past, it should have been. The fact that it wasn't reflects even more badly on Google.

So far we have had no direct response from Google. For the moment we will continue to collect signatures and publish posts and articles drawing attention to the issue. If Google persists in identifying Palestine as Israel in its maps, our next step will be to call for a boycott of Google.

Once again, thank you for your support. Please keep sharing the link to this petition, and/or to the facebook group we have created, which is at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1694829384126063/

Zak Martin


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