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Apple Takes Down Palestinian Intifada App After Israel Protests

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, June 23 2011

“Apps containing references or commentary about a religious, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to expose the targeted group to harm or violence will be rejected.” That's a quote from the guidelines for Apple's app store, and it was that rule that Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr cited when he told the Associated Press why the company had removed a pro-Palestinian app built in Bahrain called ThirdInfitada from the app store.

The company had received a complaint from Israel's Minister of Public Affairs, Eli Edelstein, who wrote Steve Jobs demanding the app's "immediate removal" of the application, which he described as "an instrument for incitement to violence."

"From browsing through the articles, stories and photographs that appear in the app, it is clear that this is an anti-Israeli and anti-Zionist application that in fact, as its name suggests, calls for an uprising against Israel," Edelstein wrote.

Without passing judgment on the merits of the ThirdIntifada app itself, Apple's action is yet one more reminder that the App Store is not anything close to a free speech zone.