An Israeli government tourism ad has been banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for misleading readers about the status of Jerusalem.
The ‘Israel Land of Creation’ brochure was inserted in a British newspaper, and described the Old City of Jerusalem as part of Israel.
In fact, the Old City is part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory conquered by Israel in 1967.
In making their decision, Britain’s advertising standards watchdog decided that “the presentation of the ad would mislead consumers into believing that the Old City of Jerusalem was part of Israel”, and thus lead them to make a “transactional decision” they otherwise might not have done.
Responding to the ASA, the Israeli government claimed that “the ad did not seek to make a political statement” but simply “provided practical information.”
Based on the ASA statement, the Israeli authorities did not seek to defend their position with a claim to sovereignty of occupied East Jerusalem that has been rejected by international bodies.
The ASA made a similar decision in 2012, when the Israeli government was similarly found to have misled the British public with a tourism brochure.