BBC replaces militant picture depicting Israel

Tel Aviv Bauhaus architecture replaces aggressive Border Patrolman as illustrative photo of Israel on website.

July 25, 2012 22:53
1 minute read.

BBC 521. (photo credit: Reuters)

Israel might not have convinced the BBC to list Jerusalem as the country’s capital, but it did manage to get the broadcasting giant to place a more flattering picture on the country profiles page of its website.

As of Wednesday, a school student in Manchester or Leeds turning to the BBC’s website for information on Israel was no longer met by the photo of an aggressive-looking member of the Border Police shouting at a Palestinian. Instead, the picture was of graceful Bauhaus architecture in Tel Aviv.

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When the Prime Minister’s Office turned to the BBC last week to get Jerusalem listed as its capital on the network’s Olympic Web page, it also raised the question of the illustrative picture on the country profiles page.

While other countries in the region either currently or recently engulfed by bloody clashes had pictures of smiling kids (Syria), a mosque (Egypt), a storekeeper (Libya) or a race track (Bahrain), only the section on Israel had a picture that illustrated ugly conflict.

On Wednesday morning that changed, and government officials in Jerusalem expressed satisfaction at what was viewed as a “small victory.” They also said this showed that when the BBC was presented with a “good and strong case,” there were people who will listen and make changes.

That same degree of satisfaction, however, does not exist regarding the BBC website’s listing for countries participating in the upcoming Olympics, where Jerusalem is listed only as Israel’s “seat of government” and not capital, with the proviso that “most foreign embassies are in Tel Aviv.”

Before the Prime Minister’s Office formally complained, Jerusalem was not listed even as Israel’s seat of government, although east Jerusalem was listed as the capital of “Palestine.”

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