Monday, June 17, 2013

Jerusalem in Google searches

Historian comrade Tarif Khalidi sent me this (I cite with his permission):  "When googling my name recently, I found that my place of birth is given as :Jerusalem, Israel. After sending five messages to Google to point out that there was no "Israel" when I was born (1938), and receiving no answer, I began to discover other interesting things.
 -You get the same result by googling Edward Said,  Khalil Sakakini, and other Palestinian Jerusalemites, all born before Israel
was even established; their birthplace is given by Google (in the right-hand corner) as: Jerusalem, Israel.
- Even more bizarre, the birthplace of the medieval Islamic geographer, al-Muqaddasi,, born in 940 AD, is given as (you guessed it): Jerusalem, Israel.
- You get the same result if you google two of Islam's holiest monuments, al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, not to mention the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
- Google also identifies Jerusalem as "Capital of Israel" in the right-hand sidebar when you search for the city, without any qualification.
- Supporters of the Palestinian cause celebrated in early May when Google replaced the words "Palestinian territories" on the homepage with the word "Palestine," thus seeming to recognize Palestinian statehood. That small symbolic gesture has now been more
than offset by its considering Jerusalem, its residents, sites, and monuments, all to be under Israeli sovereignty, and by recognizing the
city to be capital of Israel, something even the United States has not done.
- The information portal of our time consecrates Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory and declares Jerusalem to be Israel's alone,
without so much as indicating that there is a dispute over its sovereignty.  The occupation of Jerusalem and the disenfranchisement of
its people seems to have been consecrated into common knowledge.
Do with this as you will."