June 26, 2008

Google Earth and the Campaign to Wipe Israel Off the Virtual Map

From the Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:

Virtual Israel, as represented by Google Earth, is littered with orange dots, many of which claim to represent "Palestinian localities evacuated and destroyed after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war."

Thus, Israel is depicted as a state born out of colonial conquest rather than the return of a people from exile.

Each dot links to the "Palestine Remembered" site, where further information advancing this narrative can be obtained.

Many of the claims staked out in Google Earth present misinformation, and sites known to be ruins in 1946 are claimed to be villages destroyed in 1948. Arab villages which still exist today are listed as sites of destruction.

The Google Earth initiative is not only creating a virtual Palestine, it is creating a falsification of history. The concept of "replacement geography" replaces the historical connection of one people to the land with a connection between another people and the land.

The inclusion of virtual Palestine, superimposed on Israel in the core layer of Google Earth, is an example of replacement geography advanced by technology.

Those wishing to explore Israel in Google Earth are immediately taken to a politically motivated narrative unrelated to their quest. Google should remove the narrative and treat Israel as it treats every other country on the globe.

The core layer of Google Earth should be ideology free and not serve as a platform for indoctrination or a campaign to wipe Israel off the virtual map.