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Israel's Weak Response

By Yisrael Medad
4/14/2010, 12:00 AM
You've read this, yes?

Israel's tourist office has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for using images of the Palestinian-run West Bank as part of a package tour for a holiday in Israel.  The advert for the Israeli Government Tourist Office (IGTO) boasted that one could "travel the entire length of Israel in six hours" and urged tourists to sign up for the trip.  But the images shown in the poster included the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock - the oldest Islamic building in the world, built in the 7th century - both of which are in East Jerusalem, part of the disputed Occupied Territories of the West Bank...The ASA said the advert breached truthfulness guidelines and ordered it not to be used again, adding: "We told the IGTO not to imply that places in the Occupied Territories were part of the State of Israel."

...The State of Israel Ministry of Tourism (SIMT) said that the advert provided "basic, accurate information to a prospective UK traveller who wanted to know what to expect in Israel".  It claimed that it was "entirely accurate to assert that a visitor to Israel could visit Jerusalem as part of a short visit", adding: "Had the ad omitted a reference to a visit to the city of Jerusalem, it would have been incorrect and potentially misleading."

If I was Minister of Tourism, I would have responded differently.

I would have stated simply that by "Israel" we mean the Land of Israel.

And why not?

Just like Jordanian tourism uses the term the "Holy Land", Israel can use "Israel", which includes Judea, Samaria and all of Jerusalem.

Like here at Madaba:

The trip south from Amman along the 5,000-year-old Kings Highway is one of the most memorable journeys in the Holy Land, passing through a string of ancient sites.

And this site uses "Holy Land" as a replacement for Israel as "Israel" doesn't even appear.

A little chutzpah wouldn't hurt.