Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) apparently just can’t help itself. Whether it’s Google Maps or just how it uses its various search pages around the world, it seems that it is having the itch to somehow get involved with contentious political issues – sometimes without really meaning to do so. But apparently a small change on one of its international Google Search pages was caught by a foreign policy website and seems to be taken to mean that Mountain View is taking a side in a major dispute.
A foreign-policy blog site noted that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) made a small change to its Google.ps search page, apparently being the second entity behind the United Nations to recognize Palestine as a state. Several months ago, the U.N. passed a resolution – over the self-evident objections of the U.S. and Israel – to recognize Palestine as a non-member sovereign state. Until this time, Google.ps had written in Arabic “Palestinian Territories” under the familiar Google logo. Now, when one looks at the page, the Arabic word underneath Google reportedly says just “Palestine.”
Maybe there isn’t much to this, but it certainly seems interesting that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) would go through the trouble to change its page to recognize a sovereign state that might be recognized by the U.N. but doesn’t exist on any map. (Certainly Google would know this, since it’s Mapped the world by now.) And while Google is a U.S.-based company, it does make one wonder it this is an intentional political statement to encourage the resumption of peach talks for a twostate solution, or might this just be an innocuous recognition of a U.N.-recognized sovereignty.
This is not the first time Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been embroiled in geopolitics, whether intentional or not. There is a well-documented, feisty history between Google and the Chinese government regarding censorship and the types of materials that are made available in China on Google and its affiliated websites. That battle has been waging for years. Another lesser-known story came out of Nicaragua, where Google Maps was used to mark the country’s border with Costa Rica, and that marker was used as a justification for an invasion of a disputed area along that border.
What do you make of the changed to Google.ps? Is it significant that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) recognizes Palestine, and isit more significant thatn the U.N. recognizing it? Why do you think so? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.