Google, the largest Internet search engine in the world, has recently come under fire after reportedly replacing the name Palestine with Israel on its Maps app.
Google was condemned by the Palestinian Journalists Forum (PJF) for the decision, according to Business Recorder. Forum members said that the move by Google "is part of the Israeli scheme to establish its name as a legitimate state for generations to come and abolish Palestine once and for all."
The statement released by the forum members goes on: "The move is also designed to falsify history, geography as well as the Palestinian people’s right to their homeland, and a failed attempt to tamper with the memory of Palestinians and Arabs as well as the world."
The PJF has called on Google to restore the name Palestine onto the app and to reverse the recent change, as it is "contrary to all international norms and conventions."
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A petition on Change.org urges Google to restore the name, and as of August 8 it has reached around 147,000 out of the 150,000 signatures sought, reports Telesur.
The petition reads:
The omission of Palestine is a grievous insult to the people of Palestine and undermines the efforts of the millions of people who are involved in the campaign to secure Palestinian independence and freedom from Israeli occupation and oppression. Whether intentionally or otherwise, Google is making itself complicit in the Israeli government's ethnic cleansing of Palestine.