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Wednesday, January 19 2011

No Mention of Israel or Palestine in Tourism Ad: Who Benefits?

Jlem Zalmi's Weblog notes an Israeli tourism ad appearing in the Daily Mail that never mentions Israel.

Funny thing is, the ad doesn't mention Palestine either.

The ad includes a link directing you to Riviera Travel, which has some kind of affiliation with the Daily Mail. You don't see the words "Israel" or "Palestine" there either, though there is one reference to "the Holyland."

Strange as it sounds, it's hard to blame the tour company or the paper for not mentioning either side. Britain's Advertising Standards Authority is twisted in knots trying to figure out how to advertise Israel and Palestinian tourism. It's a convoluted situation because:

  • The ASA ruled last year that ads can't suggest that the Western Wall is in Israel.
  • The ASA's also trying to figure out what to do after receiving complaints about a PA-sponsored ad which never mentions Israel, and states "Palestine lies between the Mediterranean Coast the Jordan River.

Bottom line: the waters are so muddied with doubt, the tourist industry's afraid to mention either Israel or Palestine. Now who do you think benefits more from that?



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