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UK Bans Ad Promoting Northern Israel

The UK has banned advertising promoting a book that includes a map showing the Golan Heights as part of Israel.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 3/23/2012, 12:31 PM

Vacationing in the Golan Heights.
Vacationing in the Golan Heights.
Flash 90

The UK has banned advertising promoting a book on northern Israel that includes a map showing the Golan Heights as part of Israel. The ad, which also includes parts of “Judea” and “Samaria” on the map, was published in November and produced by Israel's Government Tourist Office.

Britain's Advertising Standards Authority claims it has received 350 complaints about the ad, “including from supporters of Palestinians,” according to a report by the Associated Press

The agency ruled Wednesday that the ad cannot reappear in its current form. The ad reportedly cannot imply that any territory restored to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War has been internationally recognized as part of the State of Israel, nor can it imply universal acceptance of “contentious claims.”

The British agency used similar language in a nearly identical ruling on an ad promoting holy sites in Jerusalem two years ago, acting on an complaint whose source it never disclosed. The agency claimed the ad was misleading because it implied that the part of Jerusalem in which the holy sites are located – the Old City -- are part of the State of Israel. 

The Old City was restored to the state, and reunited with the rest of the Israeli capital immediately following the 1967 Six Day War. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat branded the ruling at the time a “shameful accusation showing a complete ignorance of history.”

Before the Six Day War, when Syria attacked Israel and lost, the Syrians bombarded Israeli communities constantly from the vantage point of the Golan Heights. Children grew up sleeping in shelters every night in the kibbutzim around the Sea of Galilee.