Why is Apple removing the Star of David symbol from Apple Maps?

“Technology giant Apple has been removing Star of David symbols representing hospitals from its maps of Israel recently, Channel 2 reported on Wednesday,” The Jerusalem Post reports.

“Hospitals on Apple Maps are generally represented by the religious symbol of the majority religion in a given country, according to the report,” The Jerusalem Post reports. “As examples, Channel 2 cited the Red Crescent of Islam symbol used on Apple Maps of Turkey and the Red Cross of Christianity used in France.”

“Until recently, most of the hospitals in Israel were represented by the Red Star of David on Apple Maps,” The Jerusalem Post reports. “However recently, the religion-neutral stethoscope symbol has replaced most of the Stars of David, according to the report.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We just checked Apple Maps in iOS 10 and in the U.S., the symbol for hospitals is a red circle with a white plus sign (not a traditional Christian cross), the symbol for emergency services is an asterisk, and other medical services display a stethoscope symbol:

Apple Maps displaying hospital, medical center, and emergency department in iOS 10
Apple Maps displaying hospital, medical center, and emergency department in iOS 10

45 Comments

      1. It’s not anti-religion. It’s anti-relious-preference. If you put a Star of David or a Christian Cross on a hospital, it’s showing a preference for one religion over another. Israel may be nominally Jewish, but the area is inhabited by Christians and Muslims as well. I think having a universal sign for Hospital is better. Leave the religious symbols for churches, synagogues, and mosques.

        1. Actually, that is incorrect. The International Red Cross is the governing body that recognizes symbols used by national organizations. In non-Christian countries, several symbols have been accepted for use including the red crescent and the red shield of David (as it is called in the official ICRC documents). Apple should respect the standards of the International Red Cross, don’t you think?

          1. Although confusion became planetary, the Red Cross does not have any link with the Christian cross in the beginning. They are the reversed colors of the Swiss flag where the organization occurred.
            However, as the believers of all edges tend to react in a frantic way, this interpretation pushed to create the red crescent or star with six branches, not to run up against the religious sensitivities.

            1. Thank you for getting there first to explain that simple fact. Its a historical accident that has led to confusion and thus the red crescent having to be used in Moslem countries. Equally in the past medical services were very often attached to religious groups for logistical reasons and no doubt to prevent being accused of witchcraft if you dabbled in traditional medicines. Far better in this era of world travel that we now use a universal symbol that has no religious connotations but display a medical symbol in its place.

            2. Thus the ICRC approved symbol of the Red Crystal (aka red diamond or tilted square) which holds no religious allusions and allows for the organization logo to be placed within the crystal.

        2. Having a universal sign for all hospitals is not a good idea, as some members or sects of each of the major religions must visit a hospital based on their faith. Examples: Hasidic Jews would not go to a Christian or Muslim hospital, Amish and Sabbath-keeping Christians would not visit a Jewish or Muslim hospital, etc.

          Having the symbols on maps has always allowed for immediate identification of a hospital’s religious affiliation. Removing them could, in an emergency, cause a “detour” and possibly lead to loss of life.

          There is no good reason to undo the symbolic tradition that has served so well for many years. The only “reason” is for politically correct bullsh!t.

      2. Does seem unnecessary to do though. I mean does Apple call it the Star of David? I would suggest we remember Professor Robert Langdon’s lessons on symbology.

        Our days on this earth may just be a little longer if we do. Less stress.

  1. Most of the world uses the red circle with a white “plus”- this has its origin in Switzerland (whose national symbol is the same). Switzerland’s “neutrality” was used for medical services to indicate no side was being taken. But the truth is that Switzerland’s symbol DOES have its origin in Christianity. Hence the Moslem world took the Star & Crescent for its symbol and in Israel all ambulances have the red Star of David on it. This is the symbol used in Israel and I think Apple should respect that…

  2. This is another liberal activist move on Apple’s behalf.

    Offending religion is very popular with dismissing LIBTARDS.

    This started with the removal of the pistol emoji and now on to the war on religion.

    Shame on you, Apple.

    1. Really, Libtards? Would that be the opposite of a CONservaTard? Could you be a little more inflammatory and say Democrat Party instead of Democratic Party?

      There has been no change I have noticed in the symbols and I work in medicine. The stuff shows in my navigation regularly. Besides, Apple is not a faith based company and Steve Jobs was not a Christian, Muslim or a Jew. Secular, just as it should be.

      There is no war on Religion. There is a push back on Evangelicals injecting there faith into every aspect of public life in a country founded on a bright line division between faith and politics.

      Article 6 US Constitution:
      “…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
      Capiche?

      1. LIBTARDS are robots. They follow the party line and don’t break ranks. Número uno example — Bernie Sanders.

        Yes, this is a war on religion.

        But because you are LIBTARD — you don’t see it.

        1. Idiots have to label others “libtards” and other such nonsense so they can avoid having a non-labeled discussion about issues based on merits, logic, rationality and other nonpartisan concepts.

          1. Using religious symbols to represent medical services is anachronistic, not to mention confusing, a universally accepted symbol separated from religion is simply common sense and would show it discriminates against no one. But hey when did common sense play a part in this mad, mad world of ours.

            1. Alright. Then you explain to me what is WRONG with an ACCURATE religious icon.

              Answer: Nothing.

              As I have stated before — only LIBTARDS and LIBTURDS have a PROBLEM with accurate icons.

              The rest of us are too mature for petty whining.

    2. Shoving my hand into the fire…

      Offending religion is very popular with dismissing LIBTARDS…. This started with the removal of the pistol emoji

      WHAT religion worships pistols? Not Christianity! So what religion is being dismissed by removing a pistol from the Emoji font? I think you’re getting a bit confused here.

      1. Point taken, conflation of trigger memes is a signal of mindless aggression. Critical thinking plays no part in any such exchange, which is typically characterised by idiotic name-calling. Cleverer antagonists will respond by refuting a point with evidence…we call them trolls, but they are far better than these impudent and confused pre-teens.

    3. Me2Sense, it’s people like you that make conservatives look bad…name calling is not a way to have a conversation about anything, as it shuts down conversation. Taking away the star of david isn’t a war on religion, they just don’t want to show religious preference. Makes sense for a tech giant in a capitalist system.

      1. Wow!

        I did not know I have the POWER to make ALL conservatives look good or bad as you allege.

        That was your first mistake (ASSUME).

        FIERCE INDEPENDENT HERE, got it?

        Your second mistake is there is nothing wrong with religious icons.

        Only LIBTURDS have a problem with religious symbolism.

        No one else does because they are mature and tolerant.

    1. I can’t say you’re wrong, without looking at the relevant statistics. Anecdotally, my own life was saved twice by proper care and diagnosis, as was my own mother’s. And formerly as a nurse I was diligent in the management of those under my care. As I admitted, all anecdotal… but I attribute these miracles to Florence Nightingale, statistician, health care lobbyist and candidate for sainthood right behind Mother Teresa.

  3. Why on earth did they use religious symbols to represent a hospital?!?!? Red or white medical cross is the only symbol that should be used.
    Religious symbols tell me it is a church, mosque or temple. They could add an additional symbol if they wish, in addition to the medical cross, if it is a religious hospital.

    1. But the ‘medical cross’ is the problem. Because the cross symbol looked too Christian, the Islamic countries chose to use a sickle moon, instead. Then when Israel became a state in a muslim region, they used the Star of David, their national symbol (the menorah is the religious symbol) as their hospital symbol. The only true ‘medical’ symbol throughout history is the Rod (Staff) of Asclepius, whom (Asclepius, Asklepios, etc..) being a Greek God, was not acceptable to Christians when the Christians came to power; didn’t want the symbol of another god on their Christian hospitals. The same for the Muslim states when they came to power and started building hospitals.

      BTW: Under ICRC rules, when not using the Red Cross or Red Crescent protective symbols, aid organizations must use the Red Crystal (Diamond), instead; such as the Red Crystal with the Red Smile of David symbology used by the MDA.

    2. Many of the earliest hospitals were essentially what today we would call hospices- where people went to die. Churches many times sponsored or supported these places as ministries of mercy.
      Today they are mostly temples of greed. Your first medical procedure is likely to be the wallet biopsy- check the wallet for cash, credit or insurance.

  4. Where did the writer see this change? I ask because I did a very simple check. I opened Maps, entered hospital Tel Aviv in the search box and low and behold there it was: A red circle with a star of david in it. ??????

    1. So you make up your own rationalizations instead of actually have a sensible conversation with people you obviously don’t understand.

      That’s fine. Its your right to live in a private bubble. But don’t expect anyone to understand you.

      1. The bitterness over religion is a mask for economic struggle. Peoples’ deeply held beliefs have been hijacked in the service of the ruling classes since time immemorial. It continues to this day with unending assaults on religious freedom and human dignity, enshrined in the Constitution but eroded by weasels, rodents and vipers gnawing away at the document.

  5. Across the Jordan River in Amman, hospitals show stethoscope OR Red Crescent, depending on services. Same in the US: Red Cross, Stethoscope or Asterisk for Emergency services. Urgent Care (in Tucson, AZ), Chiropractic, and other services are represented by a stethoscope, not the emergency symbol. THUS the different symbols are based on the ‘reported’ services for that facility. That is, not all facilities providing emergency services also provide ‘hospital beds’ for in-patient care, and not all hospitals with beds provide emergency care at the same site. (St Mary’s in Tucson and the VA Medical Center in Tucson have separate hospital and emergency care facilities.

    Nothing to do with religion. Everything to do with services.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.