British advertising watchdog insists Qumran not in Israel

Monday, April 14, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

Britain's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) last week forced Israel's Ministry of Tourism to alter an advertising campaign in the UK that included a picture of the caves at Qumran.

The ASA insisted that Qumran, the first century BC site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, does not belong to Israel, and scolded Israel's Ministry of Tourism for taking so long to change what it called a campaign spreading disinformation.

The ASA complaint ignored the fact that while Qumran today sits in disputed territory, the ancient site was a Jewish community, and the Dead Sea Scrolls are all written in Hebrew.

Nevertheless, an Israeli Tourism Ministry official based in Britain bowed to the ASA pressure, telling Israel Radio that the ministry had no intention of claiming Qumran lies in Israeli territory.

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