- The Nivea international website failed to mention Israel, but did list "Palestine Territories."
- Outraged customers accused the company of lying after it posted a screen shot on its Facebook page that included Israel.
- After Glenn Beck talked about it on radio, Nivea added the link.
- In a statement to The Blaze, the company said the link was originally not there because the Israel site was under construction.
So, you’re an Israeli American and you want to check out cosmetics. You got to cosmetic giant Nivea’s website. You’re asked to choose your country. You notice a tall column: “Middle East.” You quickly scan the alphabetically listed countries -- Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait…
Uh, hold on.
You notice further down the list there’s a link for "Palestine Territories." Wow.
But no Israel link.
There’s a Middle East (English) link. You click on it. And still -- no Israel:
That's what happened to one Israeli-American, Rebecca Griffin. So she decided to write to the company:
I believe in “Never say Never”, but in this case it is fair to say that I will never buy your products, and I will make sure that others don’t either.
“Why?” I hear you ask? Well, the answer is quite simple. I don’t support racism and I don’t support Anti-Israeli propaganda.
I was very surprised to find out that according to you, my country, Israel is good enough to sell your products in, but not worth being a part of the rest of the world…Israel, an entity recognized by the UN as a country, does not appear on your website. The Palestinian Authority however, appears, even though it is not recognized as a country.
I would love to understand why you choose to eliminate us off the map of the world? Such behavior reminds me the history of your country, Germany, and the Nazi Regime. Or is it the Iranian regime that denies the holocaust and calls to wipe us off the map that you support? Is it the terror groups such as Hamas, Hizballah and IHH to name just a few that you wish to keep happy? Or is basic business- there are more 'Arab customers' than Israelis, so you would rather risk losing our business than theirs?
I simply cannot believe that I am even writing such a letter in the year 2011.
You should be ashamed of yourselves and yes, this will not go away quietly, or ignored.
You make me feel scared, and sick to my stomach.
I usually end letters with "Thank you" but I will not thank you for discriminating me, my people, or my country.
Interestingly, there is a posting on the “Nivea Official Israel” Facebook page with a screenshot showing Israel listed:
But here's where it starts getting odd. While originally writing this story, if we went to the site, Israel was surprisingly not there.
Still, there is a message posted underneath the Facebook screenshot that, roughly translated by Google, says this:
Please note - Niwah Israel is the official site of Niwah. The complete website will soon be in Hebrew.
It's also raised eyebrows on the Facebook page, where complaints similar to Griffin’s (such as charges of lying) are posted:
Now it gets even more odd. After Glenn Beck teased this story on radio and talked about his reaction, within minutes Israel was added to the Nivea site:
So what's going on here? We reached out to Nivea for an explanation. A company spokeswoman sent us a statement saying that the Israel site is currently under construction, and that's why it wasn't listed. We've included the full statement below (and highlighted some important parts):
Today on Thursday August 4th, a discussion took place on the NIVEA-Facebook site concerning the lack of a link to an Israeli website on www.nivea-international.com<http://www.nivea-international.com>. Background information: the homepage contains an overview of all currently available local NIVEA websites. The Israeli website is currently being constructed and is therefore not yet listed.
Unfortunately the lack of a link to an Israeli website was misinterpreted by some users as a possible non-recognition of Israel as a country. Beiersdorf quickly clarified that this is not the case in an own post on its NIVEA-Facebook-site. Beiersdorf pointed to the fact that the list of links on the homepage does not represent a list of the countries NIVEA is present in, but solely presents the currently available local NIVEA websites.
Beiersdorf develops new country homepages on a regular basis, which number is growing from year to year. Next to Israel there are numerous other countries and regions which do not yet have own local websites, such as Indonesia, Singapore, Tunisia, Taiwan or Luxembourg. The construction of an internet site for Israel in Hebrew and English has already started and will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2011 the latest. In the meantime a temporary website will as planned be online soon, so that Israeli consumers can already get basic information about NIVEA.
So that's the story.