(JNS.org) The decision by Google to change the
name “Palestinian territories” to “Palestine” across its products might harm the prospects for restarted Israeli-Palestinian
peace negotiations, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin said.
The Google logo. Credit: Google.
“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,” Elkin wrote in a
letter to Google CEO Larry Page.
“I would be grateful were you to reconsider the decision since it
entrenches the Palestinians in their view that they can further their political
aims through one-sided actions rather than through negotiations and mutual
agreement,” Elkin added.
On Friday, Google spokesman Nathan Tyler explained that the search
engine giant consulted with agencies including United Nations, the Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and the International Organization
for Standardization in making the “Palestine” decision. Last November, the
Palestinians’ unilateral statehood bid resulted in upgraded nonmember observer
state status for what they call “Palestine” at the UN.