For the second time in less than two weeks – and fourth time since June – UK Media Watch has prompted a correction at Times of London over the erroneous suggestion that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital. You can see the passage in question, in a Times of London article (Settlement building must stop, May to tell Israeli prime minister, Feb. 6th) co-authored by Catherine Philp and Lucy Fisher, in the following tweet:
— CAMERA UK (formerly UK Media Watch and BBC Watch) (@CAMERAorgUK) February 6, 2017
We then followed up the tweet with an email to Times of London editors. Within a couple of hours, the passage was revised and the word “Tel Aviv” was replaced with “Israel”.
Such mistakes are especially curious since Tel Aviv has never in fact been Israel’s capital.
Though most countries don’t recognize Jerusalem as the capital (for diplomatic reasons pertaining the peace process), Israel declared Jerusalem its capital in 1949 (only ‘West’ Jerusalem until 1967) and the Knesset, Supreme Court, Prime Minister’s Office, Bank of Israel and most government ministries are located in the city.
So, it would seem intuitive for journalists and editors – whatever their views regarding the political issues at play – to use the word “Jerusalem” to convey this simple fact to readers.