Israeli tourism initiative accused of wiping Palestine off the map

By staff writers
May 20, 2009

The Israeli Tourism Ministry is using its “Experience Israel” advertising campaign to attract tourists to the country. But critics say the ministry has wiped Palestine off the map by removing any reference to Palestinian territories.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has brought the removal of the Palestinian Territories from a map used in the promotion of Israel as a tourist destination to the attention of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

In a strongly worded letter, the PSC asked that the "incorrect and misleading map" be removed from their display locations on the London Underground.

The Middle East Information Centre reports that the “Experience Israel” advertisement was produced by Longwood Holidays, in coordination with and Israel’s Tourism Ministry.

The PSC says if the complaint is upheld, it will be the second time in less than two years that the ASA has issued a ruling against for producing misleading maps in its advertisements.

The map shows the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights as part of the state of Israel, although these areas are under occupation.

United Nations Resolution 242 calls on Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, which are Palestinian territories. However, Israel stands accused of violating international legitimacy resolutions and has maintained its occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan Heights.

Israel has justified this partially on security grounds but it has also declined to recognise UN resolutions. The current government has been resisting pressure from the US and elsewhere to authorise a proper two-state solution to the long standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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