Jerusalem: A Divided City

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Israeli ambassador: Why is Jerusalem divided on iPhone?

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren sent a letter of protest to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz due to an iPhone weather application which has Jerusalem divided to west and east.

Oren noted that he was an enthusiastic user of Apple products and that the rest of the embassy workers used the iPhone, and expressed his disappointment and surprise over the fact that “Jerusalem, which has been united for 43 years, has been divided by the computer giant and the popular search engine.” (Yitzhak Benhorin, Washington) – ynet.com (06.06.10)

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Users of the pre-installed application must now choose between West Jerusalem* and East Jerusalem**, West Bank, to get the weather for the city following a change that went into effect over the last weekend. The temperature information for both choices is identical.

A search for Jerusalem on the Yahoo weather pages yields two choices: Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, under the heading of IL, the postal designation for Israel, and Jerusalem, West Bank under the heading PS, used to identify the Palestinian Authority. The information for both designations comes from the same weather station, identified on the Yahoo weather pages as Jerusalem, Israel.

*West Jerusalem (also known as “New Jerusalem”) represents the modern commercial heart of the city, having become the focus for development in the capital from the time of Israeli independence in 1948 to the reunification of the city with the Six Day War in 1967. That said, many of the districts of West Jerusalem date back to the late 19th century when the Old City became no longer able to contain the city’s increasing population.

**East Jerusalem represents the eastern half of the once divided city and became the focus of Palestinian settlement around the Old City of Jerusalem in the period after the Second World War and Israeli independence in 1948. Since East Jerusalem fell under Israeli control in the Six Day War of 1967, a large number of Jewish neighbourhoods have also been settled.  East Jerusalem is the location of the first campus of the Hebrew University on Mt Scopus.

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June 11, 2010 – Yahoo’s weather app for iPhone today: West Bank is no longer an option.  Jerusalem reunited! – result for search for Jerusalem: Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, Israel  (check out  here)

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