"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Israeli Tourism Poster Pulled After Complaints from Syrian Embassy

A poster campaign on the London Underground advertising Israel as a tourist destination has been 'fast-forwarded to the next stage' after complaints from the Syrian embassy.

The Advertising Standards Agency revealed they had received at least 300 complaints from the public, whilst Transport for London received more than 600.

The complaints were made after a protracted campaign by Solidarity and other pro-Palestine groups in London.

Why? Well, the yellow map seems to show Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights as integral parts of Israeli territory:

The Syrian Embassy and pro-Palestinian groups complained about it because the featured map appeared to show the territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war – the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights – within the borders of the Jewish state.

Syrian Embassy spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the move follows days of lobbying to get rid of the advertisement, which he called offensive.

Last month it was revealed that on BMI flights an electronic map failed to show Israel at all. The only Israeli city marked was Haifa, referred to by its Arabic name of Khefa.

TfL has confirmed that the posters will be removed.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli tourism ministry, Shira Kazeh, said the posters will be changed 'because we don't mix politics and tourism'.

It seems the Syrians were particularly upset about the Golan Heights being classed as an integral part of Israel - and even the conservative Telegraph displays its bias:

Israel's hold on the Golan Heights – a strategic plateau captured from Syria – is a particularly sensitive issue for Syrians. Damascus has said it will not make peace with Israel until the land is returned.

The territory was captured after Israel fought off a brutal attack from all sides by its Arab neighbours in the Six Day War - but to read this you would think the Syrians woke up one morning to find that the dastardly Zionists had struck and captured, er, strategic territory to stop Syria shelling their civilians.

I'd imagine the thought of yet another launch pad for rockets is a particularly sensitive issue for Israel.


Thorum said...

You have got to be kidding me. Can I complain that Saudi Arabia has an embassy here in the States? I want them out!!

DHH said...

The issue here was incorrect facts on the poster. There has to be a standard and the tourism authority admitted to it and said they will change it. If the poster had correct details then I am sure the demand would have been ignored.

No issue here.

(What that has to do with an existance of a Saudi Embassy and getting gthem out really gives for questionable motives.....)