Last month the BBC Arabic website published a report about the relocation of the Paraguayan embassy from Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv (“Paraguay returns its embassy to Tel Aviv”, September 6th), which included the following phrase (translated):
“the recognition of the United States in Jerusalem as Israel’s united capital”
However, the American administration has not in fact recognised Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel but rather considers the municipal borders of Jerusalem – as well as its permanent status – a matter dependent on the future results of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. This was made clear in a statement issued by the State Department on its official website. Notably, no similar phrase appeared in the corresponding report that was published on the English language BBC News website.
CAMERA Arabic wrote to BBC Arabic in Arabic to point out the error but did not receive a reply. CAMERA Arabic then wrote a second letter in English – this time to the BBC World Service, which is responsible for the corporation’s foreign language content – informing them of the erroneous statement. This second attempt was successful: a quick response was received and the word “united” was deleted from the report.
However, no footnote has been added to advise audiences of the removal of that previously inaccurate and misleading statement.