Apple Bans Palestinian Activist App From iTunes, But Allows Israeli Government Propaganda App

Why is a Palestinian activist app banned by Apple but Israeli propaganda is allowed?

Earlier this week, Apple announced that it would pull an iPhone app published by a group of Palestinian activists calling for a third intifada (Arabic for uprising). The banning of the app came after complaints from the Israeli government and allied activists. In explaining the decision, an Apple spokesman said it violated “the developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people” — likely because it protested Israeli policies and helped organize protests against that country’s military presence.

Yet Apple does not seem to be giving similar treatment to an app published by the Israeli Ministry of Affairs (MFA). The “Israel MFA” app features a newsroom, YouTube videos, and photos that portray the Palestinians as obstinant and violent, and convey the message that Israel is committed to peace. In the newsroom section, there are links to stories such as “Palestinian incitement distances peace” and praising the supposed “Israeli humanitarian lifeline to Gaza”:

As you can see from the screenshot above — or if you download the app by following the link here — the Israel MFA appears to have a mirrored purpose to the Third Intifada app that Apple banned — namely, to tell one side’s narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This would appear to be an instance where the company is applying its policies in an inconsistent manner.

This isn’t the first time the company has been engaged in such activity. In 2009, Apple rejected an app advocating for single payer health care, reportedly calling it “politically charged.” One has to wonder why the company views the Palestinian cause or single payer health care as too politically toxic but does not feel the same way about an Israeli government progaganda outlet.