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Apple urged to yank 'anti-Israel' app

By Izzy Lemberg, CNN
The Simon Wiesenthal Center posted this iPhone screen shot of an app it claims contains anti-Israel content.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center posted this iPhone screen shot of an app it claims contains anti-Israel content.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Israel asks Apple to cancel app called "The Third Intifada"
  • Israel says the app calls for an "uprising against the State of Israel"
  • The request follows a successful attempt to have Facebook remove a similar page
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Jerusalem (CNN) -- The Israeli government is asking Apple Inc. to remove a mobile application called "The Third Intifada" from its popular App Store.

The country's Minister for Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Yuli Edelstein, wrote a letter to the computer giant Tuesday voicing concern about the content of the application.

"Upon review of the stories, articles and photos published by means of the application, one can easily see that this is in fact anti-Israel and anti-Zionist. Furthermore, as is implied by its name, the application calls for an uprising against the State of Israel," he wrote.

The letter asked Apple to yank the Arabic-language application, which allows users to comment and post photos and stories about protests opposing Israel and Israeli policies.

According to Reuters, the app offers a stream of news stories and editorials in Arabic, announces upcoming protests, and includes links to nationalistic Palestinian videos and songs.

There was no immediate comment from Apple.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights organization, also urged Apple to withdraw its approval of the app, which, according its researchers, contains "anti-Israel content."

This episode comes three months after a successful Israeli government campaign to remove a similar Facebook page. That page was set up in early March by a group of unidentified activists who called for a third intifada to start on May 15, a date known by Palestinians as the Nakba -- or catastrophe -- which commemorates the displacement of hundred of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in warfare surrounding the establishment of Israel in 1948.

The word intifada, which translate as "shaking off," is popularly used to describe a revolt or rebellion. Palestinians have staged two intifadas, which began in 1987 and 2000 respectively. Violence surrounding the second intifada claimed the lives of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians.

The page's removal followed heavy criticism from the Israeli government and pro-Israel organizations that Facebook was ignoring its own terms-of-service guidelines, which prohibit the posting of content that is "hateful, threatening, or... incites violence."

Edelstein said at the time that the removal of the page showed that "Facebook management understood that the page is a blunt abuse of freedom of speech to incite to violent actions."

CNN.com's Brandon Griggs contributed to this story.

 
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