Ban on Israel travel ad should serve as wake-up call to UK companies, says Palestine Solidarity Campaign

PNN/ London/ Palestine Solidarity Campaign has welcomed a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to ban an Israeli advert which implies that the Old City of Jerusalem is part of Israel.

The advert was produced by the Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) and appeared in a travel brochure for Israel. The brochure was included as a supplement in a national UK newspaper.

The ASA decision, released on 4th March, comes only days after it received a complaint from Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) about another IGTO publication called Taste of Israel.

Taste of Israel was distributed by Waitrose as a supplement in its February edition of its in-house magazine, Waitrose Kitchen.

The supplement describes the Golan Heights – which are occupied Syrian territory – and the whole of Jerusalem as being in Israel. It also claims Palestinian foods, including za’atar and tahini, are Israeli.

Sarah Colborne, Director of PSC, said the inaccuracies amounted to false advertising.

And she welcomed the ASA decision of 4th March. Commenting on the decision, Ms Colborne said:

“The Israel Government Tourist Office has shown yet again that, as a propaganda arm of the Israeli government, its publications cannot be trusted or taken at face value.

“It has a track record of misleading the public and, consequently, of having its adverts banned by the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK.

“In 2009, it produced posters for display in the London Underground which featured a map showing Gaza, the West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights to be part of Israel. A successful challenge from Palestine Solidarity Campaign led to ASA banning the posters and branding them ‘misleading’.

“The following year, IGTO adverts in UK national newspapers, which implied that East Jerusalem is part of Israel, were also banned by ASA.”

Ms Colborne added: “Despite all these rulings by ASA, the IGTO continues to use false advertising in its tourist promotions. It is therefore up to UK companies, such as supermarkets and national newspapers, to wake up to IGTO, see it for the propaganda machine it is, and stop carrying and distributing its inaccurate adverts.”