August 09, 2002
An e-mail message claims that BMW's Middle East Web site omits Israel from a regional map. This e-mail has been widely circulated on the Internet and has resulted in numerous complaints to ADL.
The League has been in contact with BMW. The automaker explained that the omission of Israel was unintentional, a result of designing and programming errors and not a comment on Middle East politics. BMW said that it "regrets having published this map" and assured ADL that the Web site will be corrected as soon as possible.
The following is the exchange of letters on this subject between BMW and ADL:
Dr. Helmut Panke
Chairman of the Board of Management
80788 Munchen, Germany
VIA FAX: 011-49-893593309
Dear Dr Panke:
We have a received many complaints from constituents regarding the omission of Israel from the map on BMW's Middle East website.
When one clicks on the Middle East region map, Israel is not represented on the map. Instead, only "Palestine" and the BMW dealer in the Palestinian Authority is depicted. While BMW Israel is featured elsewhere on your website, the omission of Israel from the regional map is misleading and confusing.
We hope this situation will be rectified.
Abraham H. Foxman
BMW's Reponse to ADL
Via E-mail August 9, 2002
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.
Laura Leiponis Corporate Communications