The controversial word “occupied” was deleted from the name of the Palestinian territories on the NBA’s official website. The league has apologized, saying the list of countries had been provided by a third party.
Photo credit: US Department of Education
The NBA has removed the word “occupied” from the name of the Palestinian territories listed on its website, following a diplomatic mini-crisis.
After it was reported by Israel News Company and JOL on Wednesday that the American premier basketball league displayed the controversial word next to the name of the Palestinian Territories, Israeli Sports Minister Miri Regev issued a sharp letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver demanding its removal. The name was changed shortly afterwards.
“The territories of the Land of Israel are not occupied,” Regev said. “Adam Silver has proven his integrity and decency with his decision. I wish him the best of luck leading the world’s best basketball league and hope to see NBA stars come to Israel for our 70th anniversary.”
The NBA’s President of Social Responsibility, Kathy Behrens, said a third party had provided the country names for the site. “We do not produce the country listings for NBA.com and as soon as we became aware of it, the site was updated. We apologize for this oversight, and have corrected it,” she said.
The word ‘occupation’ has long been a symbol representing the deep dispute between the different views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, both in Israel and overseas.