Thursday, April 15, 2010

Israeli tourism advert banned in UK for showing Western Wall

UK watchdog bans Israel Western Wall tourism advert


A UK watchdog has banned an Israeli tourism advert showing the Western Wall, saying it is 'misleading'.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the advert implied East Jerusalem, which has been occupied since 1967, was part of the state of Israel.

The Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites, is in East Jerusalem, but it is a major tourist site for most visitors to Israel.

Israel's tourism ministry said it would have been misleading to exclude it.

The ASA said they received one letter of complaint about the advert, which appeared in UK newspapers.


But the Israel's Ministry of Tourism has refused to accept the ruling.

A statement in response said the ad provides "basic, accurate information to a prospective UK visitor".

"It is entirely accurate to assert that a visitor to Israel could visit Jerusalem as part of a short visit. Had the ad omitted a reference to a visit to the city of Jerusalem, it would have been incorrect and potentially misleading."

The same issue came up a couple of years ago involving the site of Qumran. And the article refers to another case in 2009 involving West Bank sites. But anyone who visits Israel is going to want to visit the Western Wall. And anyone bothering to go would probably have a basic knowledge of the political situation. The objection is pretty pedantic, but we're dealing with British bureaucrats here.

Of course they've now given the advert much more publicity - for free - than it would have had if they'd just ignored it.