British authority upholds complaint against Travel Palestine ad


(JTA) — Complaints against an advertisement for travel to Palestine were upheld by the British Advertising Standards Authority.

The authority in a ruling released Wednesday said that the Travel Palestine ad should not be published again as it is currently constituted.

The advertisement, which was published in the National Geographic Traveler magazine, read that "Palestine is a land rich in history with a tradition of hospitality. From the famous cities of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Nablus, and Gaza, the Palestinian people welcome you to this Holy Land."

It also says, "Palestine lies between the Mediterranean Coast and the Jordan River … It takes a visit to this wonderful country to appreciate the most palpable facet of its culture: the warmth and humor of the Palestinian people. Join a long list of visitors over the centuries who have seen the beauty of this land."

Some 149 complaints were filed with the Advertising Standards Authority saying that Palestine is not a recognized country, that the advertisement suggested that all of the land mentioned was Palestinian, and that Jerusalem and the other cities mentioned are Palestinian.

The authority’s verdict agreed that the ad was misleading in saying that the cities listed were accepted as Palestinian — though it did point out that the "status of Jerusalem is in dispute" — but did not uphold the complaints that the ad claimed Palestine was a "recognized country, or that the whole area "between the Mediterranean Coast and the Jordan River" was Palestinian.

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