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Google Israel supports return of abducted soldiers  (View post)

Hanan Cohen [PersonRank 7]

Thursday, July 12, 2007
13 years ago7,116 views

One year passed since the Hizbullah kidnapped two Israeli sodiers on the Lebanon border.

Today, some Israeli sites will display a black homepage to commemorate the event and support the struggle to bring them back.

Google Israel had chosen to show a small blue and white ribbon on its homepage linking to a search for the Hebrew Bible phrase "thy children shall come again to their own border"

Eytan Buchman [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

There has been a recent increase in local Google activity out here in Israel. I wonder if Google Headquarters has to agree to every change on the local Google homepages. Seems like the whole kidnapped soldiers thing may be a little politically charged...

David Hetfield [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

<< One year passed since the Hizbullah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers on the Lebanon border. >>

There were three of them, isn't it? :/

Anyhow, nice move :)

Above 3 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Interesting. Google has always avoided messages of political/religious nature on their homepage. I remember a case of Pope John Paul II death – many sites in Poland were shown in black or otherwise joined the mourning. According to my friends at Google, it took quite a lot of negotiating with the top management to allow them to put a message on In the end the execs agreed and a black ribbon (IIRC) was shown on the home page.

Ido Kenan [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

Dora Kishinevsky and myself posted an article on nrg Maariv regarding Google Israel's support of the POW release. We were wondering if this doesn't go against Google's neutral stand.

Google's spokeswoman, Rachel Whetstone, told us that Google was happy to make those changes to their Israeli homepage to support the efforts to return the captured soldiers and pay respect to their families. She also said that prominent leaders such as Kofi Annan, Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and the Americans have all called for the release of the soldiers, so Google doesn't think it's a controversial stand.

The article, in Hebrew, is available at ...

Scott Cunningham [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

"Politically charged"?! Yeah, I guess all those political parties that are for abduction and kidnapping could be pretty upset.

Dora Kishinevsky [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

Well, perhaps it takes an Israeli to point this out: the three men in question were soldiers on duty, captured during an armed conflict, so the word "kidnapped" (used officially by Israel, also used by Google's spokeswoman) suggests a bias. Also: the Israeli campaign for increased international efforts to have them released is very national/patriotic in tone, right down to the blue-and-white ribbon shown on the search page, so the fact that Google joined it is at least noteworthy.

Actually, when we spoke to Google they didn't deny that they were taking a political stand as much as name all the other people who are also taking that stand currently.

Eytan Buchman [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here]Scott
As an Israeli soldier myself, I am clearly all for any support that is given to get the soldiers back. The issue is politically charged for a myriad of reasons: nothing is ever simple in the Middle East. I was just pointing out that there are factions, beyond the kidnappers, who don't see it as obvious that the soldiers should be given back...

Yoel phinker [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

I wonder sometimes if Google shouldn't be more involved in politically sensitive issues, in ways that only powerful media can speak to. They did a fantastic job in Sudan and their depictions on Earth made people pay attention to a crisis in real time. I believe that there are a number of equally compelling crisis-like situations, or politically charged and dismal environments, where media can speak to the empowerment of moderate voices and champion causes in responsible ways.

TheRaveN 2.0 [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

Hi David Hetfield/others

Hizbullah killed 8 soldiers that day ('solderies' – reserve unit which is based on 'Dad's, brothers, businessmen, house cleaners, web developers etc. In Israel it's a must to keep serving as a 'soldier' even if your military service is over) and kidnapped two others on the Lebanon border.

Around these days, 'Hamas' (the UN official authority in Gaza strip/Palestain) kidnapped Gilad Shalit, 19 years old Israeli soldier, and since then are trying to trade him, with their own people, sitting in Israeli prisons for suicidal bombing attacks planing and Israelis settlers murder.

I think the ribbon is saying: Hi people, we're all people. Lets sit down and make some sense together. All mothers wants their children back home. El kaida, Hamas, US, Germany & Israel.

This is not politic issue, it's our life.

TheRaveN 2.0

Armand Asante [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here]Dora Kishinevsky

It would be well worth to note that Hizbollah also uses the word "kidnapped" when referring to the kidnapping of the 2 soldiers. So I don't see how the word is indicative of any bias. Bias can only be the case if the wording favors one side over the other. Both sides refer to the incident as a kidnapping.

Also to affect a release of said soldiers would undoubtedly entail the release of Lebanese/Palestinian detainees and prisoners held in Israel – something the Israeli administration is loathe to do.
This is, in effect, political pressure _on_ the Israeli government. So even if this is indicative of political bias, it is not immediately clear which side it's biased against.

This is a grassroots movement and is not supported by the Israeli government. Nor is it supportive of the Israeli government's policies regarding said soldiers.

Tho, like you said, it is noteworthy that Google is taking a political stand.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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