An October 14th report by Guardian chief political correspondent Nicholas Watt (Alan Duncan to condemn Israeli settlements in blistering speech) included this passage:
In one of the strongest attacks on the government of Binyamin Netanyahu by a frontline UK politician, Duncan will criticise Tel Aviv for its “reprehensible” behaviour in encouraging and supporting the creation of “illegal colonies”.
It is unclear who in Tel Aviv Duncan will be criticising, as Jerusalem is of course the Israeli capital.
While it is true that the international community, for diplomatic reasons, generally doesn’t officially recognize Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital (out of fear of prejudicing the final outcome of negotiations for final borders), neither do they designate Tel Aviv with this status. Typical is the U.S. State Department’s page on Israel, which includes this:
The footnote is here:
Note that the State Department doesn’t tell Americans that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital, merely that this is where they currently maintain the US embassy.
Now, as many of our readers know, the Guardian used to claim explicitly – in their official Style Guide – that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel, before being forced to recant and acknowledge that this isn’t true.
But, the Guardian being the Guardian, their journalists are still loath to concede the point by suggesting – even by implication – that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Such counterrevolutionary information would bestow upon the Jewish state a fundamental right which is afforded unreservedly to all other nations in the world – the right of a nation to determine its own capital.
Finally, we humbly suggest (to those of you on Twitter) Tweeting the Guardian journalist, Nicholas Watt, (@nicholaswatt) and asking him if he really thinks Tel Aviv is the Israeli capital.