Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday 7 January 2011

A Traveller’s Tall Tale – “Palestine lies between the Mediterranean Coast and the Jordan River”. This false advertising should be protested

We’re becoming all too familiar with the fabrications that the so-called Palestinians (known as Arabs until Arafat’s clever rebranding of them) are the “indigenous people” of Israel, and that Jesus was a "Palestinian". We’re all too familiar, as well, with the impression spread by propagandists, be they deliberately malicious or naively ignorant, that Palestine (in truth a neglected province of the Ottoman Empire and then under a British Mandate) was an autonomous state snatched by Zionists.

And now another step in today’s ruthless campaign of undermining and delegitimising the sovereign state of Israel has been taken in the form of a mendacious advertisement from the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities that’s appeared in Traveler, an American magazine in the National Geographic stable.

This brazen distortion of reality misleads in several ways. It implies that Palestine is a sovereign country of which Jerusalem is an integral part, and that the country extends from the Jordan to the Mediterranean – from the river to the sea, to quote the notorious much-used Israel-delegitimising chant. It effectively dupes the unwary traveller by promoting sites and facilities that are not, in fact, in the territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

In 2009, a poster (pictured below) for the Israeli Government Tourist Office appeared in London Underground Stations. Under the headline “Experience Israel” and superimposed on the image of a boy snorkelling near dolphins, was the text "Few countries pack so much variety into such a small space as Israel. The energy and excitement of Tel Aviv and the rich cultural experiences of the Dead Sea and Jerusalem with the sun and relaxation of Eilat make Israel the ideal multi-centre break".

Complaints swiftly followed the poster’s appearance – 600 to Transport for London and 444 (two of those from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Jews for Justice for Palestinians) to the Advertising Standards Authority. The complainants objected to the advertisement’s implication that Gaza, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights were internationally recognised as part of Israel.

Their complaint was upheld, the Advertising Standards Authority banning the advertisement from being used again “in its current form” and stating: “We noted that the map showed border lines for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, but we also noted that those border lines were faintly produced and difficult to distinguish on the map itself. We understood that the borders and status of the occupied territories of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights were the subject of much international dispute, and because we considered that the ad implied that those territories were part of the state of Israel, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”

Thanks in no small way to the PSC's briefing of its members, that poster was in fifth place in the Advertising Standards Authority’s list of Top 10 Most Complained About Ads of 2009. Only one other in the list had the complaints against it upheld.

What, I wonder, will be the fate of the false advertising in Traveler.

The Zionist Federation of the UK suggests that people complain here:

For although Traveler is an American magazine, the Advertising Standards Authority is empowered to stop copies of foreign magazines in the UK from running advertisements against which it rules – irrespective of where the media’s proprietorship is based.

You can see a larger version of the offending ad here, by clicking on the image that appears:


  1. I've just sent a link to this post to all the Jewish community machers that I know. We need a community wide response in the US.

  2. That's good, Bella.
    The more the merrier...

  3. I submitted a complaint to the ASA today

  4. In a reply to one of my commonts on an earlier post, you mentioned the 'eloquent Hanan Ashwari'. This lady both intrigues and appalls me. I can understand why some Christians hold a replacement view although I think they are wrong. I can understand that such people are not always anti-Semitic in intent. Very few, if any, of them would deny the Jewish origins of Christianity. Very few, would have justified terrorism - sadly there seems to be some change due to the influence of 'Liberation Theology'.

    Hanan Ashwari worked for Yasser Arafat! Her sex, her faith and, presumably, her Christian ethics should have made Arafat utter anathema to her. How could a mother ignore his sexual proclivities? And then to top it all, she was the first person I heard utter the assertion that Jesus was a Palestinian! Back then, it should have been laughed out of court. It should have subject to satire and ridicule. It was ignored. Too silly to bother with, but if silly ideas are ignored they have a habit of taking root.

    I can only conclude that Ashwari's Christianity was not a matter of personal conversion but of family circumstance and lacked any real biblical understanding. She proved to be very dangerous.

  5. I had no idea she'd said that, Ian.
    She's married to a Muslim, I believe, so that has probably influenced her.
    There was a furore in Australia over a decade ago when she was awarded a peace prize.
    She's certainly voluble and articulate, and not without charm. I admire her personal achievement in getting to the top in a patriarchal society, and just wish that Israel would field somebody to match her in dealing with the media!

  6. See TravelPalestine’s curious map

  7. I can understand that such people are not always anti-Semitic in intent. Very few, if any, of them would deny the Jewish origins of Christianity.
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