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British Airways Scored for Blackout of a Jerusalem Hotel in Advertisement

January 4, 1985
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

British Airways, Britain’s national air carrier, blocked out part of an advertisement for a Jerusalem hotel appearing in its in-flight magazine “High Life,” claiming that it resorted to censorship in order to remain neutral in the dispute over the status of Jerusalem.

But the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith rejected the airline’s contention.

Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s associate national director, observed in a letter of protest to British Airways U.S. manager, Don Ford, that “the affect of this outrageous action is exactly the opposite — it places British Airways firmly in the political arena by taking sides and possibly bowing to anti- Israel pressure.” Foxman pointed out that other business journals publish ads on Israel and Jerusalem “without being identified with or accused of taking positions.”

The ad was placed by Jerusalem’s Sheraton Hotel. The copy, which read, “Come to Israel,” and described “the dramatic setting of the King Solomon Sheraton, a short stroll from the historic Old City, ” was taped over — by hand — in more than a quarter million copies of the magazine.

According to Foxman, this was “reprehensible.” He added, “the decision to alter the ad, we understand without even consulting Sheraton, comes in an international business environment where efforts on all levels are made by Arab countries to pressure businesses to boycott Israel.”

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