Boycott Watch
                 
Marriott Hotels Boycott based on false information
 
 Summary: BW has received numerous boycott announcements calling for Jews to boycott
Marriott hotels becuase the hotel chain sent a letter to a Jerusalem travel agent addressed to "Yerushalaim,
Occupied Territories."

Boycott Watch has concluded that elements of the original letter are incorrect and a false boycott has resulted. We recommend reading the Marriott reply below:
 
----- Original Email: -----
 
Subject: Marriot hotel says Jerusalem is in occupied Palestine

 Thinking of staying at or doing business with a Marriott hotel in 
the future?  Think twice.  Read the attached.  Pass it on.

Marriott Hotel Chain Determines: All Of Jerusalem Is "Palestinian 
Occupied State".

One of the largest hotel chains with hotels all around the world, 
the Marriott Hotel Chain, recently wrote a letter to the chairman 
of Erez Travel and Tourism, Uzi Yalon, in which his address was 
listed as: "Jerusalem, Occupied Palestinian Area".

 The Marriott Hotel chain is based in Washington, and its hotels 
have served as popular convention sites for many Jewish 
organizations, including the Conference of Jewish Presidents, 
and many Israeli delegations to Washington have stayed at the hotel.

Mr. Yalon was outraged. He wrote back a letter to the hotel 
chain's board, "I was born in Jerusalem which has always been a 
part of the State of Israel. I am not prepared to assist in 
marketing a hotel chain which defines my city in such a way, and I 
plan to impart this to the rest of my colleagues in the upcoming 
convention of Israeli travel agents."

The Marriott administration did not reply to his angry letter. 
Mr. Yalon also sought the intervention of Foreign Minister Shimon 
Peres and outgoing Tourism Minister, Benny Elon.  Mr. Yalon did not 
delay carrying out his threat. He reported to the "Tourism" journal, 
the professional Israel organ for travel agents, that he is stopping 
marketing for the Marriott chain in Israel, and he calls on all other 
travel agents to follow his example.

The local representative of the Marriott hotels is an East Jerusalem 
tourism company run by a member of the Husseini family, Shakiv 
Husseini.

 The former regional director was also a Palestinian.

Please consider if you prefer to give your business to a company 
that considers Jerusalem is occupied


 
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----- Enf of Original Email: -----
 
----- Marriott Reply: -----
 
 
Dear Mr. Misha Tsirulik: 

It is quite unfortunate that you received emails mistating Marriot's 
position -- A quick check of the Marriott website www.marriott.com - 
and a click on Israel (there is no "Palestine" listed) - results in 
the listings of hotels in "Jerusalem, Israel," "Nazareth, Israel" 
and "Tel Aviv, Israel." 

Furthermore, as the hompage of the Anti-Defemation website lists, 
"The E-Mail Campaign Against Marriott Based on Inaccurate Information", 
and I enclose the link so you may read of this matter further.

http://www.adl.org/rumors/marriott_rumors.asp

As you are aware, we have taken every effort to proactively respond 
to all inquiries that we receive, and hope you can understand our 
position on this matter, and have enclosed the explanation from Marriott 
to Uzi Yalon, recipient of the original offending piece of correspondence, 
and the letter from IATAN to which it refers. As you can see, IATA erred 
and apologized to us. 

Should you have any further questions on this matter, I may be reached at 
212-704-9727 or via marriott@mww.com 

We do hope that we have addressed this matter to your understanding and 
hope to hear from you should you have any further questions. 

Sincerely, 

Ronn Torossian 

Marriott 
 
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----- End Of Original Email: -----
 
----- Marriott Documents: -----
marriott-01.bmp
marriott-02.bmp
 
----- Marriott Letter: -----
 
May 17, 2002 
Dear Friends, 

We appreciate your concern about the issue facing Marriott 
International with regard to the Jewish community through no 
fault of its own.

As you are aware, a recent Marriott correspondence to a travel 
agent in Jerusalem, Israel contained an offensive and inaccurate 
address, as the result of an address Marriott received from a third 
party, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) an 
international trade association based in Geneva, Switzerland.  IATA is 
the governing body of all non-U.S. based travel agencies, and is 
responsible for allocating unique numeric codes to 142,000 travel 
agents located throughout the world, as well as offices of airlines 
and their General Sales Agents, and for frequently updating names and 
addresses in its agent database. 

This address was from their master list and was not customized for 
Marriott; therefore IATA has assumed full responsibility for the 
inaccuracy.  Marriott is not responsible in any way for the wrong 
information used in its communication with the travel  agent in 
question.

It is unfortunate that an agent's address provided to Marriott 
contained erroneous information.  IATA has corrected its error, and 
this difficulty will not occur again.  Marriott has sent a formal 
explanation to the agent, and has verbally explained IATA's error 
to the agent in question. 

In response to the question of why we took so long to respond, the 
agent in question sent a letter addressed to "The President of 
Marriott" on February 25th.  As an organization with well over 3,000 
employees located in our headquarters, we have no record of receiving 
this letter. When the matter was brought to the attention of our Middle 
East sales team quite recently, we immediatelybegan our investigation 
and responded to the agent in question in a timely fashion. 

  
As a company operating in 65 countries, with over 2,000 hotels and 
resorts located worldwide, all of our energies are fully committed to 
our business, which is to be the world's leading provider of 
hospitality services. 

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact 
me at 212-704-9727.   

Sincerely, 


Ronn Torossian (on behalf of Marriott) 
Marriott@mww.com
 
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----- End Of Letter: -----
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 ©2002 Boycott Watch