This time it was the Palestinians, not Israelis, who found themselves wiped off the map of the Middle East.
Palestinian anger filled social media at a recent change in the way Google Maps labels the Palestinian Territories, claiming that the name Palestine was deleted and replaced with Israel.
They alleged that the change was a “part of the Israeli scheme to establish its name as a legitimate state for generations to come and abolish Palestine once and for all.”
Word quickly spread, and over 250,000 people signed an online petition demanding that Google restore the name “Palestine” to the map.
In response, Google said “there has never been a ‘Palestine’ label on Google Maps,” and that they “discovered a bug that removed the labels for ‘West Bank’ and ‘Gaza Strip,’ ” which they are now putting back.
The state of Israel has in fact been omitted from various maps of the region in recent years, sometimes deliberately, as in the 2014 case of the HarperCollins publishing firm, which did so to avoid offending customers in the Arab world.