Wiesenthal Center Commends National Geographic Society for Removing Misleading Video About Israel from Website

July 9, 2012

The Simon Wiesenthal Center praised National Geographic for responding to its request to remove a video posted by a Jordanian blogger from their kids’ website that misleadingly describes the Dead Sea as being in “Palestine” when in fact it is located in Israel. When the video was brought to National Geographic’s attention by Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs for the Wiesenthal Center, they immediately took it down, stating that “…does not adhere to the Society's long held policy to have its maps show de facto situations throughout the world and to reflect the boundaries and names as closely as possible to those recognized by the governing bodies of the geographic areas involved.” The Society also stressed in the letter that it is an apolitical organization and assured the Wiesenthal Center that they will better vet user-generated material before it reached their website.

“We applaud the National Geographic Center for their quick and principled action in this matter as well as their pledge to strengthen vigilance for problematic material,” said Mark Weitzman.

Weitzman also pointed out that the video was brought to his attention by a Wiesenthal Center member saying,
“The commitment of our member-activists serve as valuable frontline of defense against those who seek to demonize the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”

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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).