Motorola Admits It Goofed

By World Net Daily | by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld
Tuesday, January 29th, 2002 @ 9:26PM

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In the wake of a WorldNetDaily report that Motorola had recognized the non-existent state of Palestine in consumer product brochures while failing to mention Israel, a top official at Motorola is apologizing for what he characterized as an “error.”

Mark Durrant, director of communications and public affairs for the high-tech corporate giant, said Motorola apologizes “for any concern that this error may have caused.”

Indeed, the “mistake” caused a furor in Israel and beyond.

One reader responded to yesterday’s article by saying: “It sounds as though Motorola has been bought by some Arab interests. So why not call it Muturrullah?”

As WorldNetDaily reported yesterday, customers in Europe and Israel who recently purchased Motorola cellphones were surprised to discover that Israel is not listed on Motorola’s customer services manual.

The list excludes Israel but includes the non-existent state of “Palestine,” and Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is listed as a Palestinian city.

Motorola’s response to inquiries made by customers included the following explanations:

  • “The name Palestine is a mistake of the European branch, which will be corrected (The Palestinian Authority) in the next days.”
  • “In response to consumer inquiries, we are reviewing our manuals to ensure that this is made clearer in the future. Motorola regrets any misunderstandings this may have caused.”

Some Israelis have not been placated by the apology.

One Israeli executive at a major high-tech company informed Motorola that a campaign is already under way among executives of Israeli companies to end contracts with Motorola.

The letter demands Motorola place ads in Israeli newspapers announcing the destruction of the “erroneous manuals” and explaining that “it was your mistake to write ‘Palestine’ instead of ‘Palestinian Authority.'” If Motorola does not follow that recommendation and explain why Jerusalem is mentioned as a city in Palestine, the letter says “we will continue the campaign to cancel the contracts we have with Motorola and stop our many thousands of employees from using Motorola mobile phones, because each one is getting this absurd propaganda in the brochures attached to the telephone.” Attached to the letter is a list of hundreds of executives taking part in this campaign.

The letter concludes: “While we are here defending our lives, we will do business only with those companies that are fair with their business relations.”

It seems that the ball is now in Motorola’s court.

In the U.K. just before Christmas, the upscale department stores Selfridge’s and Harrods boycotted Israeli products because “they are produced in the territories” occupied by “oppressing” Israel. Following angry phone calls from customers canceling their credit cards, Selfridge’s retracted its announcement, but Harrods, owned by the Egyptian Mohamad Fayed, continues to boycott Israeli products. The fact that they made such announcements in the first place, and that Harrods continues with its boycott, illustrates the prevailing European attitude toward the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Yasser Arafat, even as the U.S. and Israel are fighting the “war on terrorism,” and the Palestinian Authority is losing credibility as a legitimate international entity.

Categories: U.S. Policy

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