Guardian

Righting the Guardian’s capital offense, and standing up for Israel


This essay was written by Simon Plosker (managing editor of HonestReporting) and published in the Jerusalem Post on August 12.

When HonestReporting filed a complaint with the UK’s Press Complaints Commission in response to The Guardian’s labeling of Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital, we did so expecting accuracy and common sense to prevail.

Outrageously, the PCC not only ruled in favor of The Guardian but actually went as far as to unilaterally declare that Tel Aviv was Israel’s legitimate capital, based mainly on the fact that many foreign embassies are located there.

Institutions not located in Tel Aviv include the Knesset, the Supreme Court, Bank of Israel and most government ministries.

The ruling even ignored Israel’s own declaration of Jerusalem as its eternal capital.

While the Guardian’s original “capital offense” could be viewed as yet another example of the newspaper’s animosity towards Israel, the PCC ruling demonstrated just how far beyond rational discourse any discussion on Israel appears to have gone in the UK.

The PCC offered no recourse for appeal.

On principle, however, we couldn’t let the PCC’s bizarre ruling stand. Risking potentially high legal costs but motivated by our desire to see truth prevail, HonestReporting initiated legal proceedings using some of the best legal professionals with the aim of taking the PCC all the way to a judicial review.

The Guardian has become the world’s third most read newspaper website, with 30.4 million readers in June 2012, according to industry analyst ComScore. The newspaper’s print edition may not be particularly large by UK media standards, but its readers are typically influential liberal and left-leaning elites in politics, academia and other media such as the BBC.

Put simply, the Guardian’s anti-Israel bias has a hugely significant reach and influence that cannot be ignored.

Read the rest of the essay, here.

10 replies »

  1. If Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel because so many embassies are located there, then by the same logic The Hague would be the capital of the Netherlands, since all embassies are located there AND the government buildings are there. In fact, Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands.

  2. Don’t get me wrong. I admire what Simon Plosker has done, and I think this action was vitally important. I do want to point out that saying “Tel Aviv is not the capital of Israel” is different than saying “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel”. I doubt we will see articles in the Guardian referencing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I think they will just avoid using the term “capital”. By Guardian logic, Israel now has no capital city.

    Stan

  3. The PCC unilaterally declared that Tel Aviv was Israel’s legitimate capital? Can you provide the relevant bit of the PCC statement?

    The additionally sad things about this story are a) that the G. was forced to retract its silly designation of TA as capital b) it first posted said designation in a caption featuring Jerusalem residents observing Holocaust Remembrance Day and c) what/who prompted it to change the initial caption, i.e. referring to Jerusalem as capital – some irrate reader?

  4. The Guardian has become the world’s third most read newspaper website, with 30.4 million readers in June 2012, according to industry analyst ComScore. The newspaper’s print edition may not be particularly large by UK media standards, but its readers are typically influential liberal and left-leaning elites in politics, academia and other media such as the BBC.

    Which is why CiFWatch is so important.

    Adam Levick. Can we have figures telling us how many people come to CiFWatch each day? It seems that there are new highly informed commenters being added each week and some of the information gleaned from posted links very interesting and relevant.

  5. The obvious solution for Israel is to expel the embassies of countries that will not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol. Problem solved!

    In addition, one of the rightist parties can whip up rent-a-mobs like the ones that attacked the embassies in Cairo, and they can hand over all the papers and electronics they find to Mossad to look for signs of espionage and subversion. Or send an army division to do it while out of uniform and they will represent the voice of the common people struggling for respect and freedom, according to the extremely gullible.