B’nai B’rith International is outraged at a United Kingdom advertising board decision to ban an Israeli Government Tourist Office ad promoting Israel and calls on the Advertising Standards Authority, an independent government body, to reverse its own decision.
Displaying a shocking lack of judgment, the British Advertising Standards Authority deemed the print ads misleading because the site they promote, the Western Wall, also known as the Kotel, is in the Eastern part of Jerusalem, which the advertising board said was actually “occupied” and not part of Israel.
The Western Wall is the holiest site in Judaism. To suggest it is not part of Israel is as wrong-headed as it is dangerous to the well-being of the Jewish state. No peace agreement will ever take this area from Israel. But the ban could lead some to believe this cornerstone of Judaism and Jewish history is in dispute and could in turn prejudice future negotiations.
“This is one of the most egregious interpretations of Israel’s borders that I’ve seen in a long time,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “Jerusalem is mentioned hundreds of times in the bible. For the British Advertising Standards Authority to suggest the area is not part of Israel is an exceptional misuse of office. No peace plan would ever ask Israel to hand over the Wall. It dismisses the symbolic and historic value to the Jewish people and the Jewish state.”
“The advertising board is trampling on reality,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “No peace agreement would ever exist that would remove the Western Wall from Israeli control. This decision will only serve to further delegitimize Israel.”
B’nai B’rith International is working with regional leaders in London to have this decision reversed.