Jerusalem Mayor Slams 'Shameful' U.K. Ban on Israeli Ad

Britain acts on complaint over ad lists holy sites in East Jerusalem as part of a tourism itinerary in Israel.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat branded on Thursday as shameful a British decision to ban an Israeli advertisment that listed holy sites in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem as part of a tourism itinerary in Israel.

Britain's independent Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), acting on a complaint whose source it did not disclose in a ruling on its web site, said on Wednesday the ad was misleading because it implied that East Jerusalem was part of Israel.

The advertisement, which the Israel Government Tourist Office in Britain placed in British newspapers, included a photo of the Western Wall with Islam's Dome of the Rock in the background as part of the suggested "itineraries in Israel".

Calling the Western Wall "the heart and soul of the Jewish people and the State of Israel", Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said in a statement the ASA has made a "shameful accusation showing a complete ignorance of history".

Israeli authorities, he said, would continue to advertise the "important historical and spiritual sites throughout Jerusalem - north, south, east and west".

In its ruling, the ASA said the ad breached a "truthfulness" clause in its advertising code and "must not appear again in its current form".