Sunday, March 6, 2011

Letter to Google Maps

Dear Google Maps,

We appreciate your service greatly, but there are two mistakes in your website that we hope that you will correct shortly.

First of all, when we go to your website and search for Jenin, Ramallah, Nablus,  Salfit, Abu Dis, Bethlehem, or any other village or town in the occupied Palestinian territories, it comes up as "(town we googled), Israel" (with the name in Hebrew letters).

Screen shot of Google Maps placing Jenin in Israel

Perhaps you're not aware of the fact that the occupied Palestinian territories are unlawfully occupied by Israel and not actually Israel?

If this is the case, please consult the UN; they should be able to tell you that virtually the entire world condemns Israel's occupation of Palestine and does not recognize its attempts to annex Palestinian territories, such as East Jerusalem or the areas trapped between Israel's separation wall and the so-called Green Line.

For such a world-known corporation as Google to locate Palestinian towns and villages in Israel and not in the occupied Palestinian territories can be interpreted as an attempt to legitimize Israel's claim over Palestine. Are you sure that this is what you want to do?

Secondly, perhaps you didn't know that it is misleading and in fact insulting to provide a Hebrew translation of Palestinian villages, towns and cities, instead of an Arabic translation?

If so, please note that since Israel is an occupying power that is not only brutally repressing the basic human rights of Palestinians, demolishing their houses, stealing their land, taking their water, and so forth; Israel is also trying to erase all Palestinian historic claim to the land by, for instance, writing the place names in Hebrew first, and Arabic second on traffic signs in the occupied Palestinian territories. In spite of the fact that nobody except the illegal Jewish settlers that occupy and colonize Palestinian land actually speak Hebrew in Palestine.

For Google Maps to provide a translation into Hebrew, but not into Arabic, can therefore be seen as another attempt by your corporation to legitimize Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine.

Is this the face you want to show to a world who is getting increasingly impatient with Israel's defiance of international law and human rights?

Since we don't believe that it is, we are confident that you will correct these mistakes immediately.



PS We're gathering support on Facebook.

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Bo said...

You tell them!

tarekk said...

love it!

Ruby said...

Thanks guys :) Now join on Facebook: