A holiday advertisement from the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism is coming under fire as Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority received some 60 complaints about the ad’s copy “ignoring the existence of Israel.”
In describing Palestine as the area that lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, the ad fails to recognize international law for areas like the Gaza Strip which are not “officially” under sole Palestinian control. In mentioning cities like Jerusalem as part of Palestine and open to worry-free tourism, the ad ignores areas like East Jerusalem, which is now under Israeli military occupation (though not legally in the eyes of the UN). From the ad’s tone, it can be deduced that the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism must be looking for trouble in recklessly printing something that complaints called “deeply disturbing.”
But, as The Guardian reports, last year, the Israeli government had two instances of misleading advertising come under review by the ASA, one for displaying pictures of East Jerusalem landmarks and another for claiming the Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and West Bank as part of Israel without mention of occupied rule. So, if we are to understand this correctly, the ASA has outlawed all advertisements claiming disputed territory in the name of one faction or another, but seeing as disputed territory is all Palestine has, how can they advertise their land at all?