Apple under fire for pulling Intifada app

US computer giant Apple has culled a Palestinian application (app) from its iPhone offerings at the request of Israel, which said it incited people to violence against the Jewish State.

The Arabic-language app ThirdIntifada, released by Apple just days ago, provides users with details of upcoming anti-Israel protests, access to news articles and editorials, and links to Palestinian nationalist material.

In calling on Apple to act decisively, Israel's public diplomacy minister Yuli Edelstein said the iPhone app was "anti-Israel and anti-Zionist", and warned that it could "unite many towards an objective that could be disastrous".

The decision by Apple to purge the app has been criticised by pro-Palestinian campaigners, who claim that the term "Intifada", used to refer to a mass uprising, is not necessarily a call to violence. Apple said the app "violates the developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people".

Apple has responded swiftly to pressure in the past, dropping apps deemed sexual in content or anti-gay. More controversially, it pulled an unofficial WikiLeaks app that enabled people to make donations to the whistle-blowing site run by Julian Assange after PayPal, MasterCard and Visa all cancelled their cooperation with WikiLeaks in what appeared part of a concerted campaign.

Israel recently scored another success in cyberspace when it convinced Facebook to pull down a Palestinian Third Intifada page calling for an uprising against Israel. The page had attracted more than 350,000 fans.

Facebook, whose social networking site has played an instrumental role in galvanising protests across the Arab world in recent months, initially refused, buckling only after Israel appealed personally to founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The campaign underscores Israeli fears that if a much-anticipated Palestinian bid to seek recognition of statehood at the UN in September is thwarted, it could trigger a new uprising against Israel's 44-year occupation.

Arab Spring protests have inspired many Palestinians to hope that Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza can be ended through peaceful resistance in the absence of peace talks. Even before that, the non-violent protest movement was gathering strength, encouraged by Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad, a moderate politician who enjoys Western backing.

Some Palestinians envisage a return to the First Intifada, which started in 1987 and was characterised by civil disobedience and mass protests. But the Palestinian resistance became synonymous with deadly violence during the Second Intifada, which broke out in 2000, when the use of suicide bombers particularly hurt the Palestinian cause.

"People are disillusioned with what armed struggled achieved. The Palestinian political discourse is shifting towards popular resistance," said Jonathan Pollak, an Israeli activist who organises weekly protests against Israel's separation wall. "But if [Israeli] oppression is too much, it turns into something else."

Blocked by Apple

* An app offering to "cure homosexuality" was scrapped after gay rights campaigners launched an online petition.

* Apple also banned apps which warned drivers of the location of traffic police carrying out Breathalyser tests after a campaign by four US senators.

* Record labels successfully pressured Apple into removing the free music-streaming "Grooveshark" app.

* "Wobble iBoobs" was among the soft-porn apps removed by Apple following complaints by parents.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own