Corrections

UKMW prompts 3rd Times of London correction in 3 weeks to ‘Tel Aviv is Israeli capital’ claim


Despite the fact that Times of London is, generally speaking, one of the better British news outlets when it comes to covering the politics of the region, they nonetheless are still often prone to committing curious errors in their Israel-related reports.  Specifically, the painfully obvious fact that Tel Aviv is not Israel’s capital – and has never had that status – somehow continues to elude editors and journalists.  

For the third time in three weeks – and the fifth time since last June – we’ve prompted a correction at Times of London over this erroneous suggestion regarding the status of Tel Aviv. The latest example involves a March 1st article by Gregg Carlstrom titled “Netanyahu lambasted by report on Gaza war”.

Here’s the original opening passage:

Binyamin Netanyahu kept intelligence about Hamas’s network of tunnels from his ministers, leaving Israel vulnerable during the 2014 Gaza war, according to a report from Tel Aviv’s top auditor.

After the correction:

Binyamin Netanyahu kept intelligence about Hamas’s network of tunnels from his ministers, leaving Israel vulnerable during the 2014 Gaza war, according to a report from the country’s top auditor.

Though we appreciate the correction, it’s hard to understand why editors at Times of London (and other British media outlets) won’t simply acknowledge – regardless of their views on the disputed status of the city – that (West) Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, or at least (as even the Guardian Style Guide acknowledges) that the city is the ‘seat of government’. 

Related Articles

Times of London: We were wrong. Tel Aviv is not the capital of Israel. (UK Media Watch)

8 replies »

  1. They’ve been lying to themselves for 70 years so it’s really hard to break the habit.

  2. They have been doing that for a few years (at least). Several years ago they headlined an article “Tel Aviv said Israeli-owned cafes in Kenya could be a prime target” (https://twitter.com/thetimes/status/381929789239857152). After I phoned them to point out their mistake they corrected it (click on the link on the tweet).

    The BBC are also doing the same thing (https://bbcwatch.org/2017/01/12/bbc-partially-corrects-the-world-tonight-inaccuracies/). I complained about it, so far without success, but when I complained about the same thing in a tweet a few years ago (https://twitter.com/BBCNews/status/269135614698467328) they did at least acknowledge the error (http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/comp-reports/ecu/gazamilitantslaunch).

  3. The choice of Tel Aviv is entirely intentional – The international community treats Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital simply because it became their defacto capital during the Arab blockade of Jerusalem http://geography.about.com/od/politicalgeography/a/embassy.htm during the War of Independence. Thus, the Arab world was awarded for its aggression, and we continue to have this egregious breach of diplomatic norms, where no country has its embassy in Israel’s true capital.