Sunday, June 13, 2010
Flotilla fallout? Apple, Yahoo divide Jerusalem
by Larry Geller
Right-leaning Israeli politicians like to refer to Jerusalem as their "undivided capital." But iPhone users here and around the world found recently that the storied, disputed city had been split in two.
In the smart phone's weather application, the listing for "Jerusalem" disappeared earlier this month and was replaced by "West Jerusalem" and "East Jerusalem."
A similar change took place on Yahoo's weather site, which gave users the option of checking the temperature in "Jerusalem, West Bank, Palestine" or "Jerusalem, Israel."
Reaction was mixed. A few Israelis and Palestinians got a kick out of the option, even though temperature information and other data were identical for East and West Jerusalem.
But many Israelis, here and in the U.S., took deep offense and accused Apple, the company that makes the iPhone, of "political propaganda." [LA Times, ISRAEL: iPhone's two-city solution disturbs the Mideast peace, 6/13/2010]
Of course, reaction was swift, as the article describes, and Apple caved and re-united Jerusalem in response to official protest from Israel’s ambassador.