The new operating system that Apple rolled out last week has a feature unrelated to technology that may surprise some users. A Blaze tipster informed us that the new world clock options on the iOS 7 list Jerusalem without a country. And it appears to be something the company has done in the past.
We checked and the tipster's claim does appear to be the case. See this screenshot:
While other cities that start with the letter J are paired with their home country, such as Jakarta, Indonesia and Johannesburg, South Africa, Jerusalem is listed alone, without denoting Israel, for which it is its capital. Palestinians also claim Jerusalem as their capital.
Of the other cities on the time zone settings offered by Apple that this reporter reviewed , every other city appears with a home country besides three exceptions. The other outliers besides Jerusalem are Taipei and Vatican City which also appear alone.
Several Blaze readers tell us that Apple’s last operating system, iOS6 also listed Jerusalem with no country. The pro-Israel blog “Yid with Lid” posted a screenshot showing “Jerusalem” with no country listed on the old operating system. Another reader pointed out that Apple maps does note that Jerusalem is in Israel.
While TheBlaze has not yet received a response from Apple’s media relations department as to why Jerusalem is listed without a country, past similar actions by other entities have been motivated by Middle East politics.
Most notably, the State Department continues to refuse to denote Israel as the place of birth on the passports of U.S. citizens who were born in Jerusalem. A federal appeals court in July ruled in favor of the State Department in the case of Zivitofsky v. the Secretary of State. The parents of eleven-year-old Menachem Zivitofsky, a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem, took the U.S. government to court after being denied a request to name “Israel” as the birthplace of their son. By contrast, Americans born in other cities like Tel Aviv do receive the Israel designation on their passports.
In 2000, the Anti-Defamation League criticized CNN.com for listing on its weather map Jerusalem without a country designation. When CNN later corrected the map, placing Jerusalem in Israel, it also added a qualifying political explanation on its weather map, writing "The status of Jerusalem, the seat of Israel government, is the most contentious issue in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Palestinian and Arab leaders consider part of Jerusalem the capital of the prospective Palestinian state." It appears that today, CNN.com lists Jerusalem as in Israel with no asterisk or explanation.
Last year, the website for the London Olympics placed Jerusalem in Palestine, leaving Israel with no capital. The official website later reversed course and noted Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “It’s a shame a nonpolitical body makes the most absurd political statements,” a Foreign Ministry spokesperson commented to the Times of Israel at the time.
TheBlaze emailed Apple’s media relations department and will update this story if a representative responds.
This post has been updated.