[Update: I’ve now gotten confirmation from bloggers, and two large news sites that checked their Google Analytics accounts, and had the same thing happen when they clicked on Palestinian Territories.]

This past week, I’ve been reviewing the features of Google Analytics, attempting to get a better sense of you, our readers.

Google Analytics gives a pretty in-depth analysis of who comes to your site, including how they found the site, what country they’re from, what post gets more views, if you prefer sci-fi to erotica (just kidding).

There’s a great map overlay, highlighting how many visits come from what country. I enjoyed finding that people from all over the world have been reading JVoices, from India to Australia, South Africa to what Google lists as Palestinian Territory.

With each listing, you can click on the country, and a map comes up, displaying the region and which specific cities people are visiting from. To give you a clear example, below is a file I was able to export that reports on who visited JVoices from India, with specific cities listed, like Mahape and Mumbai.

But when I clicked on Palestinian Territory, guess what came up?

Nothing. No outline. No region. No map highlighted. No cities listed. No Ramallah. No Jericho. No Jenin. No Gaza City. No Bethlehem or Beit Jala. No nothing.

In fact, when I tried to export the image, like I did with India, I wasn’t able to.

I kept getting an error message that read: “An error has been detected. Please try again. Thank you for your patience.” I clicked tonight to check again, and here it is again, error and all:

So, since I couldn’t export the image, I had made a pdf image of the page to demonstrate this glaring absence to you, our readers.

This glaring absence also means I’m not sure what Google Analytics even defines as Palestinian Territory. I can only assume, based on viewing the Israel map, that what they are defining is the West Bank and Gaza.

Could it be that this would only happen in reviewing JVoices? It’s possible, but highly unlikely. Rather, the stronger likelihood is that this is a system-wide issue. I’m sending this post out to a few folks to see if they also have the same experience.

Which raises the larger issue that to not list these regions, to perpetuate what often happens in mapping the region, where these areas are left completely blank, is inherently political. And, it’s undoubtedly wrong.

Not only is it deeply troubling, particularly with Google having one of the most effective mapping systems out there–it’s morally appalling. And yet, it happens all too often in travel guides and maps. In fact, when my parents sat with me, wanting to learn about my travels, the map they initially printed did just that–it had the West Bank and Gaza completely blank. And I looked at them and said, “Well, here’s one of the first things I can show you about what it means to begin to learn about the politics and history of Zionism, and the region. It’s as much about what is shown, as what is not shown.”

So, I’d ask that you join me in taking a moment out of your day to write Google Analytics and ask them what’s going on. Or, if you want to take a different approach, you can demand that they right this wrong.

I know for me, these glaring gaps on their mapping is unacceptable.

And if they ask for your advice on where they begin to find some maps, here are just a few places you can point them to as a starting point.