Huffpost Religion

Israel Angered At British Ad Ban

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JERUSALEM (RNS) A British decision to ban an Israeli tourism ad because it includes holy sites in disputed territory has angered Israel's supporters.

Britain's Advertising Standards Authority nixed an ad sponsored by Israel's tourist agency after it received a complaint that the photograph featured the Western Wall in East Jerusalem, according to ASA's Web site.

The complainant "challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that East Jerusalem was part of the State of Israel," the ASA said.

Israel captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. The international community has never recognized Israel's control over this part of the city, though visiting heads of state often visit the wall during official trips to Israel.

The ASA told Israel "not to imply that places in the Occupied Territories were part of the state of Israel. "

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat accused the ASA of a "complete ignorance of history." Israel's Ministry of Tourism said it was "entirely accurate" to assert that a visitor could visit East Jerusalem as part of a trip to Israel.

More than 2,000 people have joined a Facebook group denouncing ASA's ruling. The ASA said it has received "lots of feedback" over its decision. "We do appreciate that some people strongly disagree with our decision."

It added that the ruling "does not prevent" Israel from depicting the Western Wall or other parts of Jerusalem in future advertisements, but seeks to "ensure that future ads do not imply that places in the Occupied Territories are part of the state of Israel."