Israel to appeal against Western Wall ASA ban

By Jessica Elgot and Simon Rocker, May 13, 2010
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Israel Tourism has had adverts which featured the Western Wall banned by the ASA

Israel Tourism has had adverts which featured the Western Wall banned by the ASA

The Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) will appeal against a ban on a holiday advert which described the Western Wall as part of Israel — after the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint that it was actually in the Occupied Territories.

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 was misleadingly portraying it as part of Israel.

IGTO's request for a review will be considered by the Independent Reviewer of ASA adjudications, Sir Hayden Phillips, who confirmed that he had received an appeal from IGTO before the deadline's expiry on Wednesday.

Representatives of the Board of Deputies met ASA chairman Lord Smith last week to express communal concern over the ad ban. Board chief executive Jon Benjamin described the meeting as "positive".

The ASA has explained that the current ruling "does not prevent IGTO from depicting the Western Wall or other parts of Jerusalem in future advertisements. The ruling solely seeks to ensure that future ads do not imply that places in the Occupied Territories are part of the state of Israel."

Last updated: 5:17pm, May 13 2010