Palestinian tourism map falls foul of ad regulator

The Palestinian Diplomatic Mission has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for a misleading website map that erases the state of Israel.

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The interactive map, under the heading “Discover Palestine”, was depicted in the colours of the Palestinian flag and represented the whole of Israel, in addition to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Clicking on certain parts of the map identified various cities and linked to tourist information about these cities.

Complainants said that map misleadingly “implied” that the entire area represented Palestine and that the state of Israel did not exist, while the information on individual cities was inaccurate.

The Palestinian Embassy has since changed the website and titled the map “Palestine in 1948”, while the colour coding had been changed to clearly demarcate Israel from the Palestinian territories.

However, the ASA has upheld complaints against the original map, saying that nowhere in the information given about cities or around the map was the State of Israel mentioned and that the average user would infer that it solely represented the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

In the past the ASA has ruled against Israel Tourism for implying that the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights were internationally recognised as part of Israel.

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