Does Guardian journo Nicholas Watt believe Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital?

An October 14th report by Guardian chief political correspondent Nicholas Watt (Alan Duncan to condemn Israeli settlements in blistering speech) included this passage:

In one of the strongest attacks on the government of Binyamin Netanyahu by a frontline UK politician, Duncan will criticise Tel Aviv for its “reprehensible” behaviour in encouraging and supporting the creation of “illegal colonies”.

It is unclear who in Tel Aviv Duncan will be criticising, as Jerusalem is of course the Israeli capital. 

While it is true that the international community, for diplomatic reasons, generally doesn’t officially recognize Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital (out of fear of prejudicing the final outcome of negotiations for final borders), neither do they designate Tel Aviv with this status. Typical is the U.S. State Department’s page on Israel, which includes this:

The footnote is here:

Note that the State Department doesn’t tell Americans that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital, merely that this is where they currently maintain the US embassy.

Now, as many of our readers know, the Guardian used to claim explicitly  – in their official Style Guide – that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel, before being forced to recant and acknowledge that this isn’t true.


But, the Guardian being the Guardian, their journalists are still loath to concede the point by suggesting – even by implication – that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Such counterrevolutionary information would bestow upon the Jewish state a fundamental right which is afforded unreservedly to all other nations in the world – the right of a nation to determine its own capital.   

Finally, we humbly suggest (to those of you on Twitter) Tweeting the Guardian journalist, Nicholas Watt, (@nicholaswatt) and asking him if he really thinks Tel Aviv is the Israeli capital.


18 replies »

  1. I’ve got this theory about some of these journalist. They fly in to Tel Aviv and stay at one of the hotels along the sea front. They walk out of their hotel having chatted with people about the news to file their report from a café, or on the beach sipping an ice cold beer. They buy Ha’aretz and the Herald Tribune and the Jerusalem Post (for balance?). They look over to Jaffa and take a walk. They read their iPad news and write up some more for the next day and when they have to go home, they take a taxi to the airport and fly out of Tel Aviv. “Jerusalem? Where’s that? Capital? Ah you mean Palestine…of course. That’s not my remit.”

  2. Isn’t the last T in his surname in the wrong place? Sorry, I couldn’t resist the temptation.

  3. “Nicholas Watt” is either an incredibly stupid and misinformed “journalist”, or just (another) antiIsrael antiSemitic Guardian asshole.
    Those are the only 2 possibilities here, pure and simple.

    • “Still sulking about Sweden ?”

      I would be, if I were Swedish. And I give thanks every day that I’m not a female Swede.

    • What the redgreen minority governement wants to use as integration tools for the muslim minority and the estranged voters of the SwedenDemocrats, are antisemitism and the emigration of the tiny Jewish minority.
      Well, I doubt the success.

  4. Tel Aviv was declared as the capitol of Israel upon it’s creation. No other nation has declared a capitol to be in territory it does not legally hold so give up this denying us the right all other nations have crap. You sound like whiney bratty children. You can declare Jersusalem to be your capitol and have it accepted when you have a legitimate claim to it. And you don’t.

    Part of Jerusalem will at some point like be the recognized capitol of Israel but sadly the GoI does all it can to avoid a final peace agreement. It’s not yours until an agreement is reached. Know we don’t all know what a final agreement may say. Must be that cifwatch racists are prescient. Cool genetics dudes.

    For the rest of you idiots, “I” is the only capital in Israel.

    Duncan has it right. You are extremists.

    You have more in common with ISIL than Hamas does.

    • You sound like someone who has never bothered looking at a map. Perhaps you’re incapable. Does the state fund your dwelling?

    • So tell me ‘3Actually’ does your moniker refer to your actual chronological age or the number of brain cells you have left?
      If it is your chronological age what would you like to become if you live long enough to pass through puberty?

      On the basis of your ‘posts’ clearly becoming a sentient human being, or writing coherently in the English language are out of the question.