Following Criticism by Simon Wiesenthal Center, Yahoo! Responds: “We Will Present One Jerusalem... Post Haste.”

June 10, 2010

Yahoo! weather app lists two separate Jerusalems — Center founder says,
"For Yahoo to unilaterally decide to divide the city is offensive and insulting to friends of Israel everywhere.”

Los Angeles — In response to a call from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Israeli government, Yahoo! executives pledged to change its portal site’s weather listings that show two separate Jerusalems: one for Israel and one for the West Bank. Wiesenthal Center officials said that not showing a unified Jerusalem is a political statement offensive to Israelis and the Jewish community around the world. In a letter to Yahoo! CEO, Carol Bartz, Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Center said, “We are sure you are aware how offensive this is, because, since 1967, Jerusalem has been the undivided capital of the State of Israel. For Yahoo to unilaterally decide to divide the city is offensive and insulting to friends of Israel everywhere.” Hier pointed out that Yahoo’s weather listings do not show this distinction in any other of the world’s disputed territories. “For example,” he said, “to get the weather for Tibet on Yahoo, you have to click to China.”

Rabbi Meyer H. May, the Center’s Executive Director, initially brought this concern to Yahoo!’s attention and noted that the same problem exists on the Yahoo! Weather app that comes standard with Apple’s iPhone. Quickly responding, Yahoo! executives assured the Wiesenthal Center that they would immediately address and correct the problem. In an e-mail to Rabbi May, the executives wrote, “You do have our commitment regarding one Jerusalem and this matter has received attention at the executive staff level to get this done post haste.” May thanked the executives for their response and urged them to further investigate the source of this problem.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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