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BMW to replace Palestine with Israel on Web site

Jerusalem Post
August 11, 2002

In response to a flurry of protests, BMW has agreed to correct its Middle East division's Web site, which showed "Palestine" in place of Israel, a company spokesman told The Jerusalem Post.

Rob Mitchell, the BMW Group's North American director of corporate communications, said on Friday the company had received "quite a number" of calls from people objecting to the omission of Israel from a map on the Internet indicating the location of BMW dealers in the Middle East.

"The minute we got the calls, we contacted our colleagues over there," said Mitchell, referring to the company's Middle East division. "They removed the link and are working to correct the site."

BMW also issued a press release stating, "BMW Group regrets having published this map on one of its Internet sites. Obviously there have been faults in designing and programming this site. We are working on correcting these faults as soon as possible.

"As a car manufacturer, we are not involved in Middle East politics, do not support any of the given political attitudes, and did not aim to make any kind of political statement."

This is not the first time that BMW has been the object of criticism from Israel and world Jewry.

In August 1998, a class-action suit was filed against the company in New York regarding its use of Jewish slave-labor during the Holocaust. BMW later agreed to take part in a German compensation fund in exchange for protection from lawsuits in the US.