Various Western institutions list "Palestine" as a country, although there obviously is no such place. I shall note them on an occasional basis in reverse chronological order.
Verizon, the largest mobile telephone provider in the United States, greeted an American arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport in Lod, Israel, with a "Welcome to PALESTINE" message. (April 14, 2017)
Verizon's message on arrival in Israel.
The U.S. Institute of Peace offers a "Palestine" category under the listing of forthcoming events, though at this moment it's grayed out, meaning the Palestine groupies will have to wait. (December 19, 2015)
A screen grab of the USIP events page.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: Hany Abu-Assad may have been born in Nazareth, Israel, carry an Israeli passport, film his movie Omar partly in Israel with several Israeli actors (including the male and female leads, Adam Bakri and Leem Lubany) – but he presents the movie as coming from "Palestine" and the organization that hands out the Oscar prizes concurred when it nominated Omar as one of the five finalists in the Best Foreign Film category.
This contrasts with Abu-Assad's 2005 film, Paradise Now, which also won an Oscar nomination, which the Academy referred to as coming from the Palestinian Territories, not Palestine. (January 16, 2014) Jan. 20, 2014 update: The Academy of Motion Pictures explains its decision to have Omar come from Palestine; it is following the lead of the United Nations, which in 2012 recognized Palestine as a nonmember observer state. Academy spokeswoman Teni Melidonian: "We follow United Nations protocol. This is not a political situation at all."
State Department: A sharp-eyed reporter at Israel Hayom noticed that a photo posted on the U.S. State Department's Instagram account showed the department's inventory of flags, one of which has "Palestine" written by hand on the outside of a plastic box, with the Palestinian Authority's flag visible inside. (September 25, 2013)
Look hard to see "Palestine" written on the outside of a plastic box containing the Palestinian Authority's flag.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: talking at the United Nations first about "peace between Palestinians and Israelis," he then went on to refer to "both countries." (July 25, 2013)
John Kerry and Ban Ki-Moon.
Facebook has, relatedly, resurrected "East Jerusalem" of the 1949-67 era and bestowed this geographic location on much of the city, implying it will be the capital of a future Palestine. (May 19, 2013)
For Facebook, even western Jerusalem is dubbed "East Jerusalem."
Googledecided on May 1 to replace "Palestinian Territories" with "Palestine" and bestow it with the homepage google.ps. (May 3, 2013)
The google.ps homepage
The British Broadcasting Corporation pulled the same trick as the Olympics Committee, stating that "intended seat of government is East Jerusalem. Ramallah serves as administrative capital" of Palestine. Plus, it did not list any capital city at all for Israel, as though it were not a real country. (July 19, 2012)
2012 London Olympics: Not only does the official Olympics website list a country of "Palestine" but for a some time, Jerusalem was listed as the capital of this "Palestine," while Israel went without a capital, reports Gil Ronen for Arutz Sheva. Here are screenshots before (top) and after (bottom) the change:
(April 30, 2012)
The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group includes a long list of its "International Sales Representation" in its Middle East Studies 2010-11catalogue. How curious that it lists "Palestine" but not Israel. Comment: One wonders how many more times books this publisher sells in Israel than in the West Bank and Gaza. (December 20, 2010)
A page from a Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group catalogue.
Merriam-Webster offers a free "Word of the Day" e-mail service to help Anglophones expand their vocabulary. So far, so good. But go to the list of possible countries in the sign-up page and one country listed is, of course, "Palestine." Contrarily, there is no mention of Gaza, the West Bank or the Palestinian Territories. Comment: One would think that a business that specializes in words would get the name of countries right. (May 2, 2010)
The mini globe shows (see highlighted area) Palestine, not Israel.
Target: The U.S. merchandising giant sells $1 mini-globes which shows no Israel but instead a Palestine. (January 28, 2010)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: A webpage for "Palestine-Israel" (note the order) can be found under "ELCA Global Mission." It explains that "The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land ... works in Palestine and Jordan and is made up of about 3000 members in six congregations: five in Palestine (Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour) and one in Amman, Jordan." (August 5, 2009)
Microsoft: The other software giant also imagines there's a "Palestine." It runs something called MSDN Community Distribution, described as "a programme for developer communities in emerging countries, where broadband internet connections are hardly available." Look up the various countries and find Palestine, complete with the contact information for someone living in Bethlehem. Plus, a bit of sleuthing around the Microsoft finds other references to the same non-existent country, such as here and here. Also, type "Palestine" into Microsoft's Bing map service and it provides an arrow pointing a bit to the south of Hebron. (August 4, 2009)
Google Voice: Splitting the difference, Google's new service lists the costs, in U.S. cents, of calling from the United States to various places around the world, including (and note the discrepancy):
Israel, Palestine, Mobile
Similarly, Vonage posts its rate for calling from the United States to "Palestine":
Please select your country from drop down list to display the everyday low rate for the selected location.
From the USA, your rate to is
In contrast, Skype lists calls going to the Palestinian Authority, which is how things ought to be. But then, it confuses things royally with this listing, which may have been the prototype for Google's rates:
Israel - Jerusalem
Israel - Mobile
Israel - Mobile - Palestine Region
Israel - Palestine Region
AT&T charges 16¢ a minute to Israel and 25¢ a minute to "Palestine." (July 13, 2009)
Brazilian government sponsors football teams: The Brazil-Arab News Agency (yes, there is such a thing) reports in "Corinthians and Flamengo to play in Palestine" that "Brazil will promote a match for peace in the Arab country, similar to the one held in Haiti in 2004. The initiative is part of a strategy for promoting the Brazilian image abroad through sports." (June 14, 2009)
Young Women's Christian Association: A list of worldwide YWCAs finds one for "Palestine" and none for Israel. Interestingly, "YWCA of Palestine" was founded in 1918, just as Palestine came into existence as a geographic unit and kept the term for nearly a century. Its politicscan be discerned from the organization's website: "to empower Palestinian women by expanding their options, supporting their economic independence, liberating them from all kinds of oppression and enhancing their participation in the building of a free Palestinian civil society." (January 3, 2009)
American Task Force on Palestine: It comes as less than a shock to note that the third annual gala of this pro-Fatah organization would include the singing of the U.S. and Palestinian "national anthems" (the latter being "Mawtini"). But it does come as a bit of a surprise to note that it was patronized by George W. Bush, who sent a letter that was read out by James K. Glassman, the under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. (October 12, 2008)
HSBC Bank Middle East Limited
Jafa Street, West Bank, Ramallah
(August 1, 2008)
Facebook: The website that defines itself as "a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them," has decided that Israelis who live over the Green Line, for example in Ma'aleh Adumim, Ariel, and Betar Illit, live not in Israel but in "Palestine." In response, a group called "Facebook-stop discriminating Yesha!" came into existence to protest this territorial imperiousness. (March 13, 2008)
Daniel Barenboim: He's not exactly a Western institution, but the well-known Israeli pianist and conductor, has taken out citizenship in "Palestine," complete with a passport, which was bestowed on him after he conducted a Beethoven piano recital in Ramallah, West Bank. (January 13, 2008)
Daniel Zoughbie, 2007 Brick Award finalist.
Frito Lay: Bags of Doritos present 2007 Brick Award Finalist Daniel Zoughbie, 22, and recognizes him as one of "those who do something." In this case, he began the "Global Micro-Clinic Project," which the geographic bureaucrats at Frito Lay, a division of PepsiCo, Inc., describe thus:
Daniel transformed his grief over a death in the family into a passion to do something. His grandmother died from diabetes in Palestine, where medical care was scarce. In her memory, he began the Global Micro-Clinic Project, opening 50 health clinics throughout the West Bank. These community-owned clinics have given the Palestinian people the ability to care for each other.
(November 10, 2007)
Toysmith World Globe: A reader visited the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito (located at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge, just outside San Francisco), a children's museum, and bought his daughter an inflatable world globe at the gift shop. Once home, he took a closer look at his purchase and was surprised. As he puts it:
This globe features instead of Israel a state simply named Palestine with Jerusalem as capital and no mention at all of Israel or Tel Aviv. That is something I would have expected to buy in a shouk somewhere in Syria or Iran but not here in the United States, in a select museum shop!
The reader appended four pictures, of the label front and back, the Middle East as a whole and a close-in of the Levant area.
Comments: (1) This case is worse than other examples cited because it involves the negation of Israel. (2) A little research finds that The Toysmith Group is not based in Ramallah or even Kuala Lumpur, but in Auburn, Washington State. (August 8, 2007)
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation: The foundation, it announces, is funding the best two-year college students to complete their four-year degrees – and among them is one "Kamal Y. Abuarquob, Hometown: Dura-Hebron/West Bank, Palestine." (May 9, 2006)
American Express: Here's an oddity, not pretending "Palestine" exists but that Israel is in Europe. In a list of travel "offers from around the world," AmEx has five categories: North America & Caribbean, Central/South America, Europe, Oceania–South Pacific, and Asia – note the absence of the Middle East. It places Israel in "Europe." (Apr. 5, 2006) May 10, 2009 update: Reviewing the situation three years later, the "Europe" category has been expanded to "Europe and Middle East." It includes Israel and many other Middle Eastern countries, ending Israel's marginalization.
Sesame Workshop: The children's program has a page for "Palestine" and has a muppet say that it is from Palestine. (December 29, 2005)
Van Cleef & Arpels: The famed French jewelery house not only talks about "Palestine" but raised AED 635,000 in Dubai "for the children of Palestine living in the Refugee Camps in Gaza, West Bank & Lebanon." The director of Van Cleef & Arpels, Stephane De Palmas, noted the nobility of "providing a helping hand to the children of Palestine and [giving] them a hope for a bright future full of promise and opportunities." Others, recalling the payments directed to children of suicide bombers, might be worried by this transfer of funds. (December 16, 2005)
Hollywood Foreign Press Association: The Golden Globe nominations for 2006 have been announced and one of them is Paradise Now, from a country called Palestine. (December 13, 2005)
Bell Canada: A leading Canadian corporation also imagines there's a country called "Palestine," though, unlike Bouygues, it has no map of it. (August 1, 2003)
Bouygues Telecom: One of France's main telephone companies, Bouygues Telecom, has posted rates for calling a country it calls "Palestine," seemingly unaware that there is no such place. The rate page helpfully provides a map of this supposed country, showing quite precise boundaries of its West Bank and Gaza components and even including the Jewish town of Mizpe Shalem. This corporation, it would seem, is paving the way for the French government. (July 13, 2003)
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