A search on Google Maps on Sunday for “the capital of Palestine” turned up a location in the middle of Paris Square in downtown Jerusalem at 62 King George Street. Even more bizarre was the image that accompanied the “capital of Palestine”: an Arab woman holding up a flag in front of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, over two miles distant from Paris Square. The location is categorized as a “corporate office” and has even been reviewed. Private individuals can submit such locations and businesses to Google Maps but the company claims to review entries before posting to the site.
In addition to the image of the Temple Mount, the location is also tagged with an accurate street view and a bizarre and totally unrelated video clip of an impostor Superman speaking in English to a young child.
Similarly, a search for “Palestine”, non-existent geographically, produces a result showing the center of Israel including Judea and Samaria as well as Jerusalem.
This issue was raised in 2016 when Google replaced the name of Palestine on its maps application with Israel. The Palestinian Journalists Front (PFJ) slammed Google for the move, stating that the removal of Palestine’s name from the maps was an attempt by the “Israeli scheme to establish its name as a legitimate state for generations to come” while obliterating Palestine forever.
Even more egregious was when a 2015 search for “Death to Israel” directed users to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in the Bible.
Google maps is a web mapping platform and consumer application offered by Google that also has an app for both Android and Apple phones. With over 2 billion users on Android, it was determined to be the world’s most popular smartphone app, with over 54% of global smartphone owners using it. The designation of Paris Square as the “capital of Palestine” also appeared on the phone app version of Google Maps.