microsoft has removed a controversial billboard from the side of a Tel Aviv highway.Written in Hebrew, the message on the billboard, superimposed over an Israeli flag, in translation read, "To the security forces and the emergency services -- the heart thanks you."
The billboard sparked outrage from Israeli peaceniks.
"Better could have been expected of Microsoft than disseminating crude, nationalistic and militaristic propaganda," writes Gush Shalom spokesperson Adam Keller in a letter to Microsoft chair Bill Gates.
Microsoft spokesperson Matt Pilla tells NOW the decision to run the ad was made by the local office, which was trying to show its support for Israeli emergency crews. But he says that when Microsoft HQ learned about the ad, which had been up for a couple of days, they immediately asked that it be taken down.
"Microsoft does not have a political position on the conflict in the region," Pilla says, adding, "We realize it created confusion and we apologize for that confusion. And our position as a company is that we hope for a resolution of the conflict that eases the pain of everyone in the region."