Google Shows Support For Missing Soldiers

    July 12, 2007

Google Israel made an interesting gesture today on its home page: it posted (in Hebrew) the phrase “thy children shall come again to their own border,” which refers to two kidnapped Israeli soldiers.  Some have called this “moving,” and it’s definitely unusual.

The backstory, as reported by The Jerusalem Post: “On July 12, 2006, at 9:05 a.m., IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were kidnapped by Hizbullah operatives on the northern frontier.  They were taken into Lebanese territory and not heard from since.”  Quite a bit of fighting occurred as a result.

As for that Hebrew phrase, the religious connotations are explained by David Bogner, who calls its presence “[a]nother reason to love Google.”  The sentence is also the slogan of The Keren Maor Foundation, which helps the families of the kidnapped soldiers.

So, today, to commemorate the kidnapping, many Israeli sites temporarily shut down.  Others, according to Hanan Cohen, adopted black backgrounds.  It seems, then, that Google Israel restrained itself by just putting up a small blue ribbon and one Hebrew sentence.

Should it have gone further and taken itself offline?  Or perhaps steered clear of the issue altogether?  Surprisingly (and encouragingly), no one appears to be suggesting either of these alternatives; I could only find positive comments regarding Google’s modest show of support.

Whether it was a calculated PR move or a touching tribute, Google Israel’s done good.