Israel Asks Apple to Pull Intifada iPhone App


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An Israeli minister has requested that Apple pull an Arabic-language app for iTunes that calls for a Palestinian uprising.

In a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Reuters reports that Israeli Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said the app called ThirdIntifada “passed on information about protests, some violent, planned against Israel.”

“I am convinced that you are aware of this type of application’s ability to unite many toward an objective that could be disastrous,” Edelstein wrote in the letter seen by Reuters.

The free app has been available in iTunes since June 15.

This is the latest app to put Apple’s approval process under scrutiny. In March, Apple removed a “gay cure” app after protests snowballed into a 145,000-signature online petition.

Some controversial apps, like those about Mussolini, Che Guevara and Franco, were all first approved for iTunes stores outside the U.S. in other languages.

ThirdIntifada, just like the dictator apps, was approved abroad but is available in the U.S. iTunes store, too.

No matter what side of the conflict you’re on, it’s hard to understand how Apple approved a news app with “Intifada” in the title with a 4+ rating — meaning that it contains “no objectionable content” and is fine for users over the age of four.

Those gnomes in the Cupertino basement who approve these apps have some ‘splaining to do.

Apple did not reply to a request for comment. If they do, we’ll let you know.

Via Reuters

98 responses to “Israel Asks Apple to Pull Intifada iPhone App”

  1. ktula says:

    The same Yuli-Yoel Edelstein is actually living on an illegal settlement of Neve Daniel in the occupied West Bank on land stolen from Palestinians. So i can definitely understand his concern when Palestinians are trying to organize to oppose his illegal presence there.

  2. Yossef says:

    I am israeli, living in Jerusalem, and a mac user. I would appreciate very much that the call to war against my country, against my people, and against me BTW — independently of what anybody think — don’t pass through the Apple devices I use to like and use.

  3. Zeteboy says:

    Geez, is this ktula character really this stupid? Israel got the land by defeating the Jordanians who attacked Israel and lost. The land was not stolen as the palestinians never owned it in the first place, and Jordan does not want it back because it contains palestinians.
    Are the palis really so stupid as to stage a third uprising after having been beaten over the last two? Are they really such slow learners?

  4. Robert Pruitt says:

    You know, these kind of politically charged topics kind of suck to read here.  Nicole, I appreciate you enjoy the social issues but like I asked with a similar controversy related to the pro/ anti-gay apps… do they need to be posted here?  I’m pro-Israel and will go to their defense.  My comment of support can only cause contention with a pro-Palestinian right?   End result, you divide your audience and rather than be united by love of Mac, we get angry at one another and leave.  I stopped reading gizmodo because they are asshats but mainly because they are so politically slanted.  Let’s not bring that here. 

  5. tbsteph says:

    I wonder what the level of outrage would be if Israel launched an app calling for an uprising against its neighboring Arab countries?  Apple should immediately remove the app in question and any other calling for political violence.

  6. Nicole says:

    Tough call. It’s definitely news — a minister calling for an app to be revoked, regardless of what country he or she hails from —  so it’s worth a post.

    Also, to me the fascinating thing is that such an important U.S. company (second largest stock only behind Exxon) with a huge hold on the global imagination approves apps that *clearly* have a huge political charge (no matter what you think of the issue) seemingly w/out considering the consequences is also worth mentioning.

    Your mileage may vary, and I am interested in hearing if more readers have the same take, but we are Cult of Mac, so it’s totally fair game…

  7. Robert Pruitt says:

    I applaud your accessibility and do think you have defended your point well.  I hope Apple doesn’t become the next political platform, that will ruin the fun for me.

  8. ktula says:

    Since your understanding of history is apparently very lacking, let me school you on it. In 1967, Israel launched a pre-emptive war against most of its neighbors, including Jordan, and the end result of this war was the acquisition of West Bank, Gaza, Sinai Peninsula and Golan Height. But regardless of whoever is the aggressor, international law – which you don’t seem to have a clue – does not allow land be acquired by force. I was – still am – 100% correct that Israeli minister is living on stolen land, whether you like it or not. 

    I don’t read Arabic – and i am pretty sure you don’t – so i don’t exactly know what this Arabic app is all about. So why all the hoopla about this app which both of us apparently don’t have a clue. 

  9. ktula says:

    Is a call for resistance against occupation a call against your country, against your people and against you? If you are one of those settlers who have no business living on stolen land, may be you should be resisted.

  10. ktula says:

    Do you understand Arabic? Are you going to take the hasbara of this Israeli minister at face value without fully understanding what this app is all about?

  11. ktula says:

    I applaud Nicole for blogging about this news since this is related to Apple. After all, Cult of Mac is supposed to carry news that relate to Apple and its products, no? 

    I am neither pro-Israel nor pro-Palestine. I am, however, pro-justice and pro-fairness.

  12. Castor2 says:

    Yes, it is. It is a call for killing people like Yossef. You must be stupid or one of symphatisants with this a…..s from Hamas or Fatah.

  13. ktula says:

    Do you understand Arabic? Have you installed the app in question and review its content? Let’s assume that app is calling for resistance against the Israeli occupation. Are you not aware that it is perfectly legitimate to resist against your occupier? Pro-Israel supporters like you may not want to admit this, but Israel IS ILLEGALLY occupying Palestinian land. Among logical folks, there is absolutely nothing controversial about this fact. But then again, it does not appear you belong to the logical group of folks so i am not even sure why i am wasting my time trying to have a logical discussion with illogical people like you.

  14. Robert says:

    I do read some Arabic and downloaded the app.  It is mostly stuff you can find elsewhere on the web and there is no military aspect to this or calls to kill civilians aka terrorism.  Some of the social media postings are racist and anti-Jewish, which is bad, but you can see that in any app that allows comments when it comes to the Arab/Palestinian – Israel milieu.  It is tame compared to what one can find on Twitter or Facebook.  I spent all of 15 min. looking at this app before deleting it.  If the Israeli minister didn’t bring it up, few would have ever heard of it.  

  15. ktula says:

    Thanks Robert. Finally a well-reasoned comment that made sense, from someone who actually understood Arabic and have downloaded, installed and used the app. Anti-Jewish racist postings are bad and i have also seen a lot of anti-Arab racist postings on Israeli papers like Ynet, Maariv and Haaretz. If someone actually thinks anti-Jewish racism is monopolized by Arabs, i suggest them reading the readers’ comments at the three mainstream Israeli papers i listed.

    Thanks to the settlement-residing Israeli minister, now more people have heard of this app and its website!

  16. MitM says:

    1) This post is a good post. CultofMac reports Apple happenings. This is an Apple happening. Simple. 

    2) The founding of Israel was based on a combination of things: Victimhood in Europe and the warped idea for a need for a Jewish identity through recognised nationalism and returning to a land which God had previously promised Jews during the biblical era. However – religious history is still very much under scrutiny, there are several grey areas and anomalies regarding chunks of religious history, including the exile from the land of Israel, but more importantly, it is totally misguided to claim a land back as yours on the basis of belief, on religious history. It would be like taking some money out of a persons hand saying God gave it you a couple of thousand years ago and now you want it back. Until that religious-history is 100% sound, until is fact not belief, Israel is unjustified. As a a consequence, anti-semitism is on the rise, especially in parts of middle east as Israel’s IDF and apartheid state government makes more and more poor decisions. Zionism has hijacked Judaism to such an extent that people simply do not know the difference despite them being two hugely separate entities. For example, I am a loving Jew but a firm anti-Zionist. 
    3) The question should be, is it right for Apple to approve political apps or should they just stick firmly in the unopinionated middle. However, this would mean disapproving all political apps, as all are at least slightly left or right. Perhaps the fairest thing to do would to be approve all political apps.

  17. Raffe Gold says:


    Your cherry-picking of facts shows your bias in these issues. You obviously forget that the reason Israel launched the attacks against Egypt was because Gamal Abdul Nasser, the dictator of Egypt, expelled UN forces who were keeping the peace and closed the Straits of Tiran which was an act of war. Furthermore Nasser moved his forces to Israel’s border and convinced other Arab neighbors, including Iraq, Syria, Saudia Arabia, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia etc etc, to contribute forces and attack Israel from all sides. If this isn’t a causus belli I don’t know what is.  
    At the end of the Six Day War Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the hopes that they would be traded in order to secure peace treaties with Arab neighbors. At the Khartoum Conference in September of that year the Arab League rejected peace, recognition or negotiation with Israel. When Israel realised after the Yom Kippur War (another attempt by Arab nations to wipe out Israel) in 1973 that the Arabs were not receptive to peace negotiations they began to expand their presence in the WB, Gaza Strip and Sinai. You may have probably forgotten (or never been taught it i’m not too sure) that when Israel signed her peace agreement with Egypt the first thing she did was withdrawal from the Sinai. Israel has also since withdrawn from the South of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. However because that was done unilaterally extremist elements like Hezbollah and Hamas have since taken over and used the land to fire thousands upon thousands of missiles at Israeli towns forcing upwards of one million people into bomb shelters. 

    You yourself have admitted that you do not speak Arabic and have little understanding on the purpose of the application. Is it not possible that the scores of fluent Arabic speakers, many of who are Israeli-Arabs, who work for the Israeli government have a little bit more of an understanding of this application’s purpose than you do?

  18. ktula says:

    @twitter-60722320:disqus I was merely responding to Zeteboy’s post. If i had to list the full factual history of what actually happened, that would have been overkill. Which part of what i wrote was not true?

    It’s natural for Israel to withdraw from Egypt after the signing of peace agreement. You think if Israel was going to hold on to Sinai, Egypt would have signed that agreement? 

    Israel withdrew from Lebanon and Gaza Strip not because it felt bad about occupying those land or it felt leaving was the decent thing to do. It withdrew from Lebanon because it could no longer afford to stay there. In can also be said that Hezbollah made Israel paid such a high price, retreating from Lebanon was the ONLY option available. If Israel wishes have peace on its northern border, may be it should return the Shebaa farms to the Lebanese and Golan height to the Syrian, instead of illegally annexing Golan as part of Israel, an action which by the way is not recognized internationally. Syrians have been wanting to have its Golan Height back, in exchange for peace with Israel. In the several meetings between Syrians and Israelis, the main issue has always been Israel refusal to withdraw completely from Golan height.

    Similarly, in Gaza, Israel realized it was way too costly to occupy more than 1 million Palestinians to protect just a few thousand Jewish settlers. It “unilaterally” left Gaza because the price tag of staying would have been too high, even for the Israelis. But unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza does not mean freedom for Palestinians in Gaza. They have no access to their own airspace. They have no access to the sea. They have no control over Gaza’s borders. This was the case even before Hamas democratically won the election. You accused me of cherry-picking facts. aren’t you guilty of the same? How many times had Israel attacked Gaza using US-supplied fighter bombers and Apache attack helicopters even during the 1-year cease-fire agreement with Hamas? 

    I have years of experience dealing with hasbara from the Israeli government and its minders to know not to believe them. This is no different.

  19. raphaelfreeman says:

    I think the most important fact here is that the app is calling for an intifada. Regardless of your political position and your interpretation of history, having an app that calls for killing of people (see previous intifadas in Israel) isn’t really appropriate on the app store. It’s really irrelevant whether you think Israel should exist or not – that’s politics or religion or whatever, but I would hope that all Mac fanboys agree, (and this is a Mac site after all), that violence and death is not a good thing.

    Let’s not let this debate be about Israeli/Arab debate, but rather whether it’s okay to have an app that promotes violence regardless of your political opinion.

  20. Yossef says:

    Listen: We don’t want to rule Arabs who live in Yudah-Shomron (the hebrew name for the west-bank of the Jordan). 

    We want to get an agreement based on mutual recognition and security. Every intifada, every war against Israel, that is against israeli, will be fought back with all our forces. Don’t mistake, it will be harsh. Is it what you want ? 

    We don’t want that, we want to live a normal life, work, educate our kids, without fear. We want to continue to contribute to the world by bringing science, medicine, microprocessors (the very ones that equip your macintosh BTW, the multicore system has been invented and elaborated in the Technion, Haifa by israeli computer scientist teams).  

    What you think about to whom the land belongs is irrelevant, every country is the fruit of wars and negotiations: USA, France, Germany, Poland, Russia etc. A call to intifada, with all the drama it will bring, is not a recipe for building but for destroying. 

    This iPad App calling for intifada is a call for destruction, and that is the main point.

  21. Zeteboy says:

    At the end of the day, all the palestinians want to do is promote and partake in violence. There can be no mistaking there at all.  They do it all around the world.

    If they want peace all they have to do is say to Israel, What do we have to do to
    get peace given all that we and the rest of the Arab world have waged war against you for the past 60+ years? We do not want violence anymore. We will recognize your right to exist.

    But the palis do not want to do this. They want to have a stream of intifadas that have not had any  positive effect at all and seem not to be able to learn from their endless stream of mistakes.

  22. Jamal22 says:

    I suggest all read this website.

  23. Jamal22 says:

    What the so-called Palestinians say in Arabic and what they say in the English media are different. All one has to do is investigate their methods of abuse and propaganda.

  24. Jamal22 says:

    YEP! Well said, Zeteboy.

  25. Jamal22 says:

    Great comment! Glad you are more informed than others on this thread. All people have to do is a little investigation to realize the true owners of the land of Israel are the Israelites.

  26. Jamal22 says:

    haahahah…hehehhe… shew, that is funny.

  27. SapirKraus says:

    I do understand arabic,Israelis are taught arabic,so we do understand it.
    the app is news only – and I guess that this is way it was approved.
    yet,the intifada itself will be violent like every other war.
    I don’t support israel, although  I live there,and no,not on a stolen land,the israeli land is not stolen and actually doesn’t belong to anyone,we are all human beings,we are all the same,I think that both the extreme pro-israeli and pro-arab are being dumb,wasting their time in a dumb war.
    I really can’t understand why they can’t accept the fact that we can all live in one unified country.
    so all the extreme pro-arabs who commented here,and don’t really understand the situation as it really is,please don’t comment thing if you don’t know what you’re talking about,same for the extreme pro-israelis(who didn’t commented here…).

  28. AppleFanBoy says:

    Intifada translates to uprising, uprising to get recognized by an apartheid state is not a call to kill as some have suggested  …

  29. AppleFanBoy says:

    as opposed to having 1 face of bigotry on all fronts

  30. AppleFanBoy says:

    at least arabs have the decency to not generalize and stereotype on all jews, we have a problem with the zionists living in occupied palestine, those same people that fled the horrors of the holocaust only to partake in horrors of their own against the palestinian people …

  31. Zeteboy says:

    OK lets continue with your line of reasoning. 

    The residents of gaza who are all palestinian arabs, as your group are so quick to point out, democratically elected by a strong majority, the terrorist group hamas to represent to them.  Hamas has said many times, in speeches and in writing…see their charter…that they will not rest until all Jews are dead and ALL of Israel belongs to arabs.  That sounds like a generalization to me and any other rational person.  These same palestinian arabs want to create a second holocaust of the Jews and we will not stand for it.

    The palestinians are constantly attacking Israel and the Jews, (more rockets fired yesterday into Israel). Whatever the palis get from the Israelis or the IDF is in reaction to their own making. Not once has anyone seen a pali “leader” say they want peace with Israel.

    And this iPad app is just more of the same incitement to violence from the palis and the arabs.  They will never change until they are soundly defeated because they just do not want to compromise.

  32. Zeteboy says:

    How naive of you. Do you think the intifada is really just so the palis can hand out coffee and donuts? 

    You should do some research on what an apartheid state really is, because your reference to Israel being one has been debunked by much smarter people than you have turned out to be.

  33. ktula says:

    “… the true owners of the land of Israel are the Israelites.” 

    It’s comment like yours that show the true nature of your intention. And you wonder why some Palestinians resort to violence.

  34. ktula says:

    Zeteboy: “Not once has anyone seen a Palestinian leader say they want peace with Israel?” I am surprised no one here has called you out for this outright lie. If you want to spill your hasbara here, at least use something more believable. I guess when Arafat signed the “peace treaty” in Oslo, he did not want peace with Israel right? Also, as revealed by the leaked Palestine Papers, the extent to which the Palestinian negotiating team was willing to concede and to compromise was unprecedented and astounding. You don’t have to believe me, read those papers yourself:

    For those unfamiliar with how Israel negotiates, let me use a pizza pie as an analogy (i did not come up with this comparison, the brilliant Ali Abunimah did). You and i are given a whole pizza. Then we start to negotiate on how we can share that pizza pie appropriately. While we are still negotiating, you start to shove as many slices of pizza into your mouth as possible. I protest and I tell you, hey, that’s not right, how can you start eating while we are still negotiating. In fact, you are eating more than the slices originally given to you. So i try to stop you from eating those pizza slices but you are way bigger and stronger than me so you easily beat me up and push me aside while continuing to eat slices and slices of pizza. For the original analogy, see here:

    During the relatively peaceful years following the Oslo peace agreement, while Israel was still “negotiating” with the Palestinians, the population of Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank (mind you, this does not even include the increase in the population of Jews in East Jerusalem) increased by more than 100%, from less than 100,000 to more than 200,000 in less than 10 years. The number of Jewish settlements and Jews-only by-pass roads to connect all those settlements with Israel proper also increased significantly during those years. You tell me, is this how you negotiate in good faith? What Israel has been doing is very clear. By illegally settling its Jewish citizens onto occupied land, it is creating facts on ground. After a few generations of settlers living on stolen land, the Israeli government can now claim it’s now impossible to withdraw them and therefore those settlements will have to be part of Israel. This is exactly what is happening. 

    Let me ask you this then: How can the Palestinian authority negotiate with the Israelis while the settlement activities go on uninterrupted? If you are a Palestinian representative, would you negotiate with Israel while more and more pieces of your land are being taken away?

  35. ktula says:

    Read this and tell me if Israel fits the definition of an apartheid state:

  36. ktula says:

    Finally, an Israeli that called for a state for equal rights for all its citizens, Jewish or not. But i suspect, unfortunately, not many people in Israel share your opinion. Years of settlement industry in the occupied West Bank has made it all but impossible to have a contiguous and viable Palestinian state. Since the two-state solution is no longer possible, the only solution is a unified country for all.

    If you think extreme pro-Israel supporters did not comment here, you are kidding yourself. You just have to look at the comments posted by zeteboy and Jamal. If opinions by zeteboy and Jamal are the mainstream Israeli opinions, there is no hope for peace.

  37. Shaun says:

    Intifada literally means “resistence”. It’s about resisting an armed occupation of Palestinian lands and a desire for self-determination and a Palestinian homeland. Israel is the world’s most dangerous terrorist state. It was created by terrorists in 1948 and is run by zelots who have no desire for peace or justice. If I was the most powerful man in the world for just one day I would press that red button without hesitation and obliterate every last one of them once and for all.

  38. Zeteboy says:

    You can post all the rhetoric that you want, but the fact remains that the arabs and palestinians want to eradicate a postage stamp sized country that they attacked on numerous occasions and lost and still continue to incite hatred and violence against, instead of looking for a real peace.

    The palis will remain without a real country for many decades to come until they come to their senses, however their behaviour up until this very minute makes that remote.

  39. Zeteboy says:

    I know what an apartheid state is and Israel is not one. The treatment the palis get is by their own doing. If they were peaceful, and not violent at every opportunity, they would have a lot less problems.
    To quote a respected statesman, the palis never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. 

    They will remain refugees at the hands of their “brother arabs” for many decades to come.

  40. Zeteboy says:

    Ah yes, resistance, but it is not. All the palis and arabs understand is violence but are not smart enough to see that violence does not work.

    And the red button is exactly why someone like you is not a powerful anything. You are just like the palis…you think that violence is the answer. Ask the palis how far they have progressed with that line of thought so far. Still refugees at the hands of their “arab brothers” who do not want them integrating into their countries either.

  41. Zeteboy says:

    The only hope for peace is when the palis say “what can we do to get to peace and end 60+ years of violence” but you know as well as all that will never happen. The palis are not interested in sharing: they want it all and the end of all

  42. ktula says:

    What i have been posting are actual facts. On the contrary, you have been posting nothing but rhetorics and even outright lies. I don’t deny there are some elements among the Palestinians that wish to have all of historic Palestine back, just like there is a sizable population of Israeli Jews who wish to have Eretz Israel while expelling all non-Jews from it. 

    Is it not possible what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians is causing incitement against its citizens, and unfortunately, Jews? Have you been to the occupied West Bank? Have you not witnessed how non-violent demonstrations by Palestinians against land seizures are treated by the IDF? 

  43. Shaun says:

    Violence is the only language the Israeli’s understand. How many UN resolutions have there been against illegal settlements, killing innocent civilians, etc, etc and what has it achieved? Nothing. How many children have the Israeli army murdered? and what happens to the soldiers – nothing. Israel doesn’t want peace. They think if they build enough settlements a viable Palestinian state will be impossible so they get to keep the land. I don’t want violence but if you put your jackboot on a man’s throat for long enough he will fight back. Israel will only concede a Palestinian state when Iran has a nuclear weapon pointed at Tel Aviv. If the Israeli people don’t like it tell them to elect a moderate who is genuine about peace and a two state solution and ask them not to assassinate him this time.

  44. ktula says:

    Right. If the Palestinians just sit quietly and watch their land from being usurped away by the Jewish settlers, “they would have a lot less problems.” I totally agree with you. Why don’t those damn Palestinians just leave and let the Israelis have their way with the illegally seized land right? How DARE they resist Israel’s effort to demolish their houses, evict them to make room for Jews-only settlements. The audacity!

    How do you explain during those relatively peaceful years after the Oslo agreement, when the final status was still to be determined, Israel continued to build new settlements and populate them with its Jewish citizens? How “peaceful” must the Palestinians be in order for Israel not to continue this land theft? You know what, you will have no explanation for this. You can’t defend the indefensible.

    Let’s be honest, Zeteboy. The sentiment i get from reading your posts is that until Israel and the occupied West Bank is empty of non-Jews, you won’t be satisfied. 

  45. Patrick M Phillips says:

    as opposed to the inordinately MORE people murdered by Israel’s blockade on the concentration camp known as Gaza?  If the app specifically calls for violence, then it can be pulled.  Until then, Apple should NOT set the dangerous precedent of silencing protest just because it’s against a corrupt US Government ally.

  46. Q2022 says:

    I believe Ktula already told you what the palestinians have offered the israels in the leaked negotiation papers
    they have gone so far yet israel doesn’t want to compromise. what do you have to say about that now.

  47. Q2022 says:

    -I really love that there are a lot of people here at CoM who support justice. 

    -and ktula whoever you are a BIG thank you for your support to the Palestine cause and for clarifying to people who have only been subjected to western media to see the truth. I know I am mostly subjected to the view from an arab point of view but I also see whats being reported in the western media, and there is a huge difference, you just need to see what the Palestinians are going through, for them to hate Israel so much and unfortunately anti-zionist Jews as well. 

    -By the way the palestinian cause is not only an Arab cause its an Islamic cause and all muslims are united for it and i doubt you would find any Muslim against the palestinian rights and yet there are lots of Jews and Rabais who are against the apartheid state of Israel and its actions. Yemen is one of the arab countries with alot of Jews living peacefully among the Muslims as neighbors, and they are against Israel. If you understand Arabic I can provide with of documentary made about the Jews of yemen.
    -Nicole thank you for posting on such topics too, and not Porn for a change :)

    -the only reason this app was pulled so far is because Israel has America under its control. America is not the most powerful state in the world, its israel. America is just a puppy under the control of super rich Jews AIPAC and no president can say no to them.

    -sure Israel have contributed alot to technology, science, medicine etc but I wish they contributed to them as American Jews, Russian Jews, French Jews, German Jews, Moroccan Jews, why do most Israels have dual nationality, because they are not Israels they are settlers who have occupied the palestinian land and do so everyday, why? because they are above the law and they have the American veto to support them. is there any other country that have defied UN resolution like Israel before.??


  48. Q2022 says:

    Thanks alot