For the fourth time in four years, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has censured the Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) for producing advertising material which claims Palestinian territory as belonging to Israel.
In today's ruling (21 March), ASA ruled against the IGTO for an advert running over three pages which was carried in the Guardian and the Telegraph newspapers in November 2011. The offending adverts carried a map and text which implied that the occupied Palestinian territories are part of Israel. The ASA ruled that the advert must not appear again in its current form.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign is now urging the ASA to refer the IGTO to the Office of Fair Trading for repeated breaches of the code in their representation of the occupied Palestinian territories as part of Israel.
Sarah Colborne, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “Israel is literally trying to wipe Palestine off the map, first by colonising Palestinian occupied land, then by presenting this to the world as a fait acomplis. For the IGTO to misleadingly claim the occupied Palestinian territories as part of Israel not once, not twice but four times – despite censure each time - shows their clear contempt for international law and for British advertising rules.
Whilst Palestine Solidarity Campaign is delighted that the ASA upheld our complaint we now want to see them use their teeth by referring the IGTO to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)."
Palestine Solidarity Campaign is also urging publications not to carry adverts from the Israel Government Tourist Office because it has repeatedly shown its inability to produce truthful, accurate adverts.
Alexei Sayle, a patron of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, wrote to the Guardian, in a letter published in November 2011 stating that the IGTO “seems unable to correct its behaviour. Perhaps you should now just refuse to offer any advertising space to the Israeli Government, which repeatedly claims land illegally acquired by conquest is theirs.”
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