AIJAC welcomes ABC corrections on Israel’s capital
Oct 8, 2020 | AIJAC staff
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today welcomed an ABC acknowledgement that Tel Aviv is not Israel’s capital after an ABC TV 6pm news bulletin (Oct. 4) covering anti-government protests in Israel claimed “the biggest demonstrations have been held in the capital, Tel Aviv.”
Writing to the ABC, AIJAC pointed out that “Tel Aviv is not Israel’s capital and no Israeli government has ever designated the city as the country’s capital” adding that “Although the overwhelming majority of countries keep their embassies in Tel Aviv, none of them classify the city as Israel’s capital either.”
Stressing that this was not a one-off, AIJAC pointed to a similar claim on the ABC website that has been there since December 2018 when Australia recognised west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
AIJAC’s letter said these errors “are serious enough to mislead ABC viewers and readers” and requested it take prompt action.
Writing back to AIJAC, the ABC’s letter said the Oct. 4 TV news bulletin which is still available to view on its website was appropriately edited and the webpage from 2018 was deleted.
AIJAC Executive Director Colin Rubenstein thanked the ABC for its swift response in correcting the record.
“It is a good result. There is enough misrepresentation in the media of the issues involved and so we thank the ABC for its appropriate and prompt response,” he said.
“Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital since 1949. It is where the overwhelming majority of Israel’s machinery of government is located, but because most countries refuse to acknowledge the city as Israel’s capital and base their diplomatic missions and embassies in Tel Aviv instead, there is unnecessary confusion.
“Yet whilst it is an all too common mistake and a somewhat understandable one, it remains just plain wrong. It is likely any viewer who hears it or reads it would think Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital,” Dr Rubenstein added.