BBC Doubles Down on Refusal to List Israel’s Capital
In a recent thread here on LGF, a number of us were debating the BBC’s removal from its Israel web page for the upcoming Olympic Games of any reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite the fact that Israel’s capital has been located in Jerusalem since 1949. For many of us long-time BBC watchers and critics, the BBC’s action smacked of the kind of anti-Israel bias to which we have long been accustomed, particularly since the BBC was, at the same time, listing East Jerusalem, a city that has never existed, as the capital of Palestine, a state that does not exist. (Whether Palestine should exist is not the point; I simply note that at present it does not legally exist and, therefore, does not have a capital).
For a brief moment, the media was reporting that the BBC, in response to a complaint by the Israeli government, “corrected” its error. Well, as Samuel Clemens might say, rumors of the death of anti-Israel bias at the Beeb are grossly exaggerated.
The British Broadcasting Corporation, which won the rights to broadcast the London Games, failed to list Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on its Olympics website.
According to Yedioth Ahronoth, the site offered information about all the participating countries, including their athletes and capitals, but Israel’s profile made no mention of a capital city at all. The profile page for the Palestinian Olympic team, however, mentioned “east Jerusalem” as its capital.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev sent a letter of complaint to the Director of the BBC’s Bureau in Israel, Paul Danahar, saying he was “Dismayed by the BBC’s decision to discriminate against Israel on the BBC’s Olympic website.
“Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel, and accordingly we respectfully request the immediate rectification of this matter,” he wrote.
Following the complaint, the BBC added Jerusalem to Israel’s country profile on Thursday, but it merely informed readers that the “seat of government is Jerusalem” and that “most foreign embassies reside in Tel Aviv.” The page still does not list Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The BBC altered the Palestinian page as well, such that it now reads “Intended seat of government East Jerusalem. Ramallah serves as administrative capital.”
The BBC’s Olympics website is a source of information for millions of sports fans around the world.
Anti-Israel bias? What anti-Israel bias?
BTW, anyone wishing to view the Israel and Palestine pages to see for themselves can do so at the following links: