Commentary Magazine


Britain’s Qumran Craziness

When will the Brits run out of new and creative ways to attack Israel? The British Advertising Standards Authority, an independent watchdog set up to ensure fairness in advertising, has attacked the Israeli tourism ministry for including the historical site at Qumran in one of its ads. The problem? Qumran is on the wrong side of the Green Line, and is technically in territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war. Therefore, Israel is “misleading” consumers by implying that Qumran is in Israel.

Leave aside the fact that the territory is disputed, or that Qumran is known as an important site only because the Israeli government has enabled archaeologists for a generation to excavate and analyze the crucial Dead Sea Scrolls that were found there. Even leave aside the ridiculous double-standards involved: According to one ministry official, “Representatives of the Palestinian Tourism Ministry feature a map of Palestine which shows all of Israel’s regions, including Ben-Gurion Airport, as Palestine’s major airport, but the British never complained about that.”

What I’m wondering is: Are images of the Western Wall, which was also conquered by Israel in 1967, also “misleading”? And what about the Knesset, which sits in Western Jerusalem, which has never been formally recognized as part of Israel? We’re waiting, BASA . . .