The Zionist Federation was disturbed to read the adjudication (14 April) of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about an advert for tourism in Israel.
This adjudication is grossly disproportionate since there is not the slightest risk that the British public would be misled by the inclusion of photos of the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock into thinking that East Jerusalem was not disputed territory. There is no other way for tourists to see these sights other than through Israel. Indeed Israel took responsibility to support the religious sites of all denominations, a commitment which formed part of the obligations of an agreement with the Palestinian Authority signed in 1995. East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel over 40 years ago. Legally, from Israel’s point of view, it is one City with no difference between East and West
By saying that photos of the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock cannot be shown in Israel tourism advertising, the ASA is therefore preventing them being shown in ANY tourism advertising. That cannot be to the benefit of tourists.
We note that this ASA adjudication can be reviewed by the Independent Reviewer (Sir Hayden Phillips) at the request of the advertiser and that he can call for a review if there is “a substantial flaw of process or adjudication …. or where additional relevant evidence becomes available.”
We hope that there is such a review and that this results in the ASA Council changing its ruling.
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