Zionist Federation red-faced after Olympics gaffe

By Jessica Elgot, December 15, 2011

The Zionist Federation has hastily withdrawn Olympic tickets it had offered to sell as a fundraising project, after it learned that such a venture was illegal.

Last week the ZF advertised a deal, offering London 2012 tickets to two events, judo and taekwondo, both events in which Israel has a strong chance of doing well. The ZF offered a free Israeli flag with tickets sold.

The tickets were being offered at three times their face value by the ZF, with £35 tickets selling for £100 and £20 tickets for £75.

The advert, sent to the ZF's mailing list, said the price included an "agent handling fee" and a donation to the ZF.

But, on Wednesday, ZF director Alan Aziz said the advert had been a mistake and had been withdrawn. Anyone ringing to enquire about the tickets had been informed. He said: "This was a bit of an error, and we've taken the offer off the website. It should not have been sent out.

"We only realised there was an issue with selling tickets this way after the email to our supporters had already been sent out."

A London 2012 spokesman said: "Selling Olympic tickets in this way is illegal. We do not doubt that the charity was acting with the best of intentions, but we are pleased that they have withdrawn these tickets from sale."

Last updated: 2:29pm, December 15 2011