ABC corrects error in news item naming Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital

October 8, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) wrote to ABC following a TV news bulletin on October 4 on the 6pm during which the national broadcaster claimed demonstrations in Israel had “been held in the capital, Tel Aviv.”

Colin Rubenstein

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.”
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 a webpage from 2018 which made a similar claim.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.

He added: “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.

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