Britain bans ad promoting tourism to Israel for blurring 1967 borders (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Barak Ravid 03/23/12)
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Britain´s Advertising Standards Authority blocked an advertisement
promoting tourism in Israel earlier this week, following complaints
that it was "misleading" in implying the occupied territories were
part of Israel.
The ad, promoting a new book on northern Israel, first appeared in
British newspapers in November 2011. It evoked no less than 350
complaints to the ASA, which oversees and regulates the advertising
industry in the United Kingdom.
The complaints came mainly from pro-Palestinian organizations such as
Friends of Al-Aqsa and Jews for Justice in Palestine.
ASA released a statement saying the ad "must not appear again in its
current form." The authority said it told the Israeli Tourism
Ministry "not to imply that the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the
Golan Heights were internationally recognized as part of the state of
Israel. We also told [the Israel Government Tourism Office] not to
imply claims were universally accepted if there existed a significant
division of informed opinion."
ASA said the borders on the map attached to the advertisement were
not clear enough and from looking at the map one could get the
impression that the West Bank and Golan Heights are a part of Israel,
rather than the "subject of much international dispute."
ASA said another reason for banning the ad was that it replaced the
internationally-recognized term "West Bank" on the attached map
with "Judea and Samaria."
The ad appears on London´s Israeli Ministry of Tourism website
without the map.
Blocking the ad was the last move in an advertising war between pro-
Israel and pro-Palestinian activists in Britain. In April 2010 the
ASA banned an advertisement by Israel´s Tourism Ministry because it
included a photo of the Temple Mount and East Jerusalem. The Guardian
reported the ad was blocked because it was misleading and did not
make it clear the areas in the photo were in dispute.
In December 2011, the Palestinian Mission in London was forced to
take down from its website an advertisement promoting tourism to the
Palestinian Authority. The ad presented a map of the entire State of
Israel as a map of Palestine. The ASA said the ad was misleading and
instructed the mission to remove it. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz
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