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June 11, 2010

“We are gratified that Yahoo! recognized its mistake and moved so quickly to correct its weather site and app.” Rabbi Meyer H. May, Executive Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center

Los Angeles — In response to a call from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Israeli government, Yahoo! executives quickly changed its portal site’s weather listings to reflect one Jerusalem. For several weeks, they had offered weather reports from two separate Jerusalems: one for Israel and one for the West Bank.

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 wrote, “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. “We are gratified that Yahoo! recognized its mistake and moved so quickly to correct its weather site and app,” said Rabbi Meyer H. May, Executive Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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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