Trending Topics:

‘Times’ ad rebrands Israel as western country without occupation

on 18 Comments

A friend was reading a story about Israel in the New York Times, when an ad for Booking Israel appeared on the page. My friend points out that you can barely see the borders of the occupied territories in the map, and that the Golan Heights is fully integrated. 

New York Times ad
New York Times ad

If you go to that travel agency, Booking Israel describes Israel as part of the “western world,” including its capital, Jerusalem. No mention of East Jerusalem:

Israel, also known as the Holyland, has attracted tourists and pilgrims for more than 4 millennia. Israel is incredible and incorporates …. the unforgettable holy city of Jerusalem. Israel Hotels are similar to those found in other cities in the western world….  Jerusalem hotels are very popular amongst tourists who wish to visit the many tourist attractions and historical sites in the capital city of Israel. Many other cities also provide lodging opportunities for various purposes. Israel travel plans should be done with, your one stop shop for all Israel travel products and services.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

18 Responses

  1. bijou
    June 25, 2013, 10:22 am

    It’s high time we recognize that “occupation” is far too benign a term for Israel’s grand design. It should be retired and replaced with “colonization,” for starters. Even that, however, might not suffice.

    • pabelmont
      June 28, 2013, 5:45 pm


      If you entertain ANY hope that international law might play a part in all this, you must use the legal term, “occupation”. And it does no harm.

      The territory is also “disputed”, since a lot of different proposals for ownership and legal status exist simultaneously, today.

      But YOU ARE RIGHT that a more devastating and opprobrious term (maybe “Israel’s expulsive apartheid regime” ?) would carry more (and more suitable) emotional baggage.

      PHIL: Could we have a contest for the right term?

  2. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    June 25, 2013, 10:27 am

    Of course zionism’s little imperialist project is described as “western.” The goal of colonialism is to put a little piece of Europe in non-European places. Time to ship all the Europeans out of Palestine and let it be Middle Eastern again.

    • miriam6
      June 25, 2013, 2:24 pm


      Your pro multi-ethnic/cultural society- advocating -mask has really slipped this time.

      What’s underneath ain’t pretty.

      Are you saying that people of European descent cannot be considered a part of the Middle east?


      Even if they were born there and their families have now lived in the region for several generations?

      Your offensive little comment also seems to take no account of the fact that these Israeli Jews you would like to “ship out” i.e. ethnically cleanse from the Middle East might prefer to live in America or Australia or other parts of this planet.

      I consider it prejudiced of you to just ASSUME Jews of European descent just automatically belong in Europe.

      Saying Jews or others who are European or of some other origin can’t ever be considered part of the Middle East is no different from saying those of Arab descent/African/Asian descent can never be considered truly part of Europe even if they and their families have lived in Europe for several generations?

      In short, your comment is a charter for ethnic, cultural cleansing and racism.

      Likewise, Seafoid

      Are you advocating that all the ARAB middle eastern countries remove ALL traces of western influences from THEIR countries in order to become truly Middle Eastern?

      All trade, business, cultural , humanitarian , tourist , sporting links must be done away with?

      Following your logic those in the Middle East must sever ALL links ( including doing away with all “Western ” style hotels that are in many Middle Eastern countries’ )
      and become a large ghettoised region.

      • June 26, 2013, 7:21 am


        Have you seen what your beloved European Jews have done in the Middle East over the past 65 year?

      • miriam6
        June 27, 2013, 5:33 pm

        Joe Ed

        You ask what were the Jews doing..

        A more pertinent line of inquiry for you would be to examine the history of the 1939 St James Palace London conference , in which the Palestinians were offered the best deal they were EVER offered, the chance for FULL PALESTINIAN independence and the promise of NO JEWISH SOVEREIGN STATE IN PALESTINE, but the Palestinian Arabs turned it down.

        Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister of the time had decided to REVERSE the Balfour Declaration and in doing so the prospect of a sovereign Jewish state was abandoned as British policy on Palestine ,must to the anger of the Zionists.

        The Mufti of Jerusalem Haj. Amin Husseini however, rejected the offer out of hand, he couldn’t tolerate ANY Jewish presence in Palestine.

        A huge mistake, made by the Palestinian Arabs in 1939.
        THEY were the ones who threw away the opportunity for peace not the Jews.

        At that point in history 1939 if the Mufti had ACCEPTED what was offered by the British Government The Zionists would have LOST the opportunity for a sovereign Jewish state in Mandate Palestine.

        These policies were stated formally in the White Paper of 1939, resulting in a storm of protests by Zionists throughout the world.


        From Jerusalem. A Biography
        by Simon Sebag Montefiore

        The Arab revolt 1936-45.

        The Mufti and Hitler: World War in Jerusalem.

        Chapter 49:

        Neville Chamberlain, whose father had proposed a Jewish homeland in Uganda, decided to reverse the Balfour Declaration. If there was a war , the Jews had no choice but to back Britain against the Jews but to back Britain against the Nazis. But the Arabs had a real choice ‘if we must offend one side ,’ said chamberlain ,let us offend the Jews rather than the Arabs.’

        He therefore invited both sides , and the Arab states , to a conference in London. On 7 February 1939, Chamberlain had to open the conference in St James Palace twice, because Arab and Zionists refused to negotiate directly .
        On 17 March Malcolm Mc Donald , the colonial secretary, issued a White Paper that proposed limiting Jewish land purchases and restricting Jewish immigration to 15.000 people annually for five years , after which Arabs would have a veto,


        This was the BEST offer the Palestinians were to receive from the British or anyone else during the entire twentieth century, but the mufti Amin Hussein , displaying spectacular political in competence and megalomaniacal intransigence, rejected it from his Lebanese exile.

        This observation by General Montgomery at the time is prescient ‘ The Jew murders the Arab and the Arab murders the Jews and it will go on for the next 50 years in all probability’

        From Jerusalem. A Biography
        by Simon Sebag Montefiore

        Faced with no prospect of mutual agreement after some three dozen sessions with the parties, on 15 March 1939 Malcolm MacDonald outlined Britain’s proposals: After ten years, a Palestinian state would be created, possibly a federation with Arab and Jewish cantons.

        Since the Arabs would have a majority in the assembly, legal guarantees would be included for the Jewish minority and its national home. During the coming five years, 75,000 Jewish immigrants (of whom 25,000 would be refugees) would be admitted into Palestine. Subsequent immigration would depend on Arab consent.

        The conference officially ended on 17 March. Chaim Weizmann informed MacDonald that the Zionists were unable to accept Britain’s terms. British officials in Cairo resumed contact with representatives of the Arab states, leading to some modifications of MacDonald’s provisions in an effort to gain fuller Arab acceptance of the proposed new British policy. Finally, on 17 May 1939, Britain published the MacDonald White Paper, the end result of the London conference’s failure to reach an Arab-Zionist agreement. Its terms—admittedly “disappointing to both Jews and Arabs”—would govern Britain’s official Palestine policy for the coming war years, although little was implemented on the ground, with both Arab and Zionist leaders continuing their efforts to obtain changes favorable to their respective causes.

      • Talkback
        June 26, 2013, 8:24 am

        miriam6: “In short, your comment is a charter for ethnic, cultural cleansing and racism.”

        Glad that you support Palestinian right to return.

  3. seafoid
    June 25, 2013, 10:40 am

    “Israel Hotels are similar to those found in other cities in the western world….”

    I thought Israel was in the Middle East

    • wanderer
      June 25, 2013, 3:38 pm

      “Israel Hotels are similar to those found in other cities in the western world….” Ha!! I find the average Israeli hotel to be average at best in terms of accommodations and amenities, downright awful when it comes to customer service, and definitely overpriced in terms of value for money.

    • pjdude
      June 27, 2013, 1:08 pm

      um the term western world refers to culture that originated in western europe or europe in general to a lesser extent. the us, canada, australia, and new zealand are considered part of the western world and are all out side of europe.

  4. Les
    June 25, 2013, 1:15 pm

    The problem is much more than the knowingly deceitful ads the Times publishes. Just a few weeks ago a headline in the online edition referred to the Golan Heights as “disputed territory” rather than occupied. Are our school teachers aware that sending their pupils to the Times as a source could lead to their students’ miseducation?

  5. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    June 25, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Israel, also known as the Holyland, has attracted tourists and pilgrims for more than 4 millennia.
    Oh, and I thought that Israel was founded in 1948.

  6. ritzl
    June 25, 2013, 2:23 pm

    Wow. Seems like the major rebranding is around “aka the Holyland.” Who’s going to mess with that degree of [arrogated] ‘Biblicity’ with all its associated modern-day sturm and drang?

    Upping the ante once again. If this fails, which it will because of the observable amorality, where next?

  7. Citizen
    June 25, 2013, 6:54 pm

    Pathetic. Anybody with any slight intelligence and education knows Israel is not a part of Western Civilization.

  8. talknic
    June 25, 2013, 11:49 pm

    Aren’t there laws against false advertising in Israel?

    • piotr
      June 26, 2013, 8:06 am

      “Israel, also known as the Holyland, has attracted tourists and pilgrims for more than 4 millennia. ”

      Do you want to argue that you suffered after believing, falsely, that there was any tourism and pilgrimages 4,000 years ago? You clearly do not follow the latest news in archaeology, like a discovery of an amazingly well preserved fax with hotel reservations made for Abraham from Ur and the family. Dates are smudged, so we can reasonably argue if those reservations were made less or more than 4000 years ago.

      Other discovery of note suggests that while Joshua did not visit Jerusalem, his agents rented vehicles there and used catering services.

  9. piotr
    June 26, 2013, 8:30 am

    Perhaps they changed their web page, because now I see “ is an online booking site of travel products and services in Israel from one of the leading companies operating tours to Israel and the Holy Land.” Thus they are open to an opinion that Holy Land is not the same as Israel, so the tour routes may cross the boundary of Israel into Holy Land.

  10. Les
    June 26, 2013, 8:20 pm

    Some in Israel know about the Green Line.

    McDonald’s Israel refuses to open branch across Green Line
    The chain, owned by a founder of Peace Now, rejected an invitation to open a new restaurant in Ariel.
    By Ido Efrati and JTA | 23:38 26.06.13

    McDonald’s Israel turned down an offer to open a restaurant in Ariel because it is located in the West Bank.

Leave a Reply