Israel banned from showing holiest site on tourism adverts

The Advertising Standards Agency said that a picture used of Jerusalem was misleading becuase the territory is disputed.

By Jessica Elgot, April 14, 2010

Israel has been banned from showing images of the Western Wall in tourism adverts, after a ruling by the Advertising Standards Agency.

An image on the advert for holidays in Israel showed a picture of the Kotel, with the gold Dome of the Rock in the background, captioned “Jerusalem”’.

The ASA received a complaint that the picture showed disputed east Jerusalem, and misleadingly portrayed it as part of Israel.

In its adjudication, the ASA ruled that the advert breached its truthfulness guidelines and said the advert must not be used again.

It said: "The ASA noted the image of Jerusalem used in the ad featured the Western Wall of the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, which were both in East Jerusalem, a part of the Occupied Territories of the West Bank.

"We understood, however, that the status of the occupied territory of the West Bank was the subject of much international dispute, and, because we considered that the ad implied that the part of East Jerusalem featured in the image was part of the state of Israel, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead."

A spokesman for Israel's Ministry of Tourism said that it was "entirely accurate to assert that a visitor to Israel could visit Jerusalem as part of a short visit.”

The ministry pointed out that it would have been misleading for the advert to have not included Jerusalem in a four-day itinerary of Israel, which is how the picture was represented.

Last updated: 10:42am, April 14 2010