- The Washington Times - Friday, May 3, 2013

Google has in effect declared a state of Palestine. The company on Friday announced it would change the name of all its products that cited Palestinian Territories to simply Palestine.

Google spokesman Nathan Tyler said in The Associated Press that the name-change comes on the heels with consultations with a variety of sources and authorities, all unnamed in the AP report. But the new practice will also follow the policies of other international organizations, Mr. Tyler said, in the AP report.

Israel’s reply was swift.

Foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Google is hardly a diplomatic organization. So, he wondered, in the AP report, why was it involving itself in international issues of such controversial nature? A Palestinian state should only be declared through cooperative negotiations, he said.

Google’s decision comes just months after the United Nations upgraded the status of Palestinians to “non-member observer state.” Critics and opponents of the upgrade said at the time that the U.N. nod would prove the first step toward awarding the Palestinians statehood.