LONDON – The Guardian has retracted a claim it made that Tel Aviv is the capital
of Israel, issuing a correction on Wednesday in its print edition and
The newspaper said it had been wrong to refer to Tel Aviv as the
capital city of the Jewish state and it has amended its Style Guide
“We accept that it is wrong to state that Tel Aviv – the
country's financial and diplomatic center – is the capital,” it said.
April, the newspaper issued a correction to a photo caption – that had featured
passengers on a tram in Jerusalem observing a two-minute silence for Holocaust
Remembrance Day – stating that it had wrongly referred to Jerusalem as the
“The Guardian Style Guide states: Jerusalem is not the
capital of Israel; Tel Aviv is,” it stated.
monitors HonestReporting complained to the UK’s Press Complaints Commission at
the time and the media regulator issued a ruling in May declaring that Tel Aviv
was indeed Israel’s capital.
HonestReporting then took initial steps to
file for a judicial review. This forced the PCC to withdraw its ruling and
demand that the Guardian defend its position.
The media monitor
organization said the Guardian backed down following the threat of judicial
review and issued a correction. It also changed its Style Guide, which had
stated that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel, to reflect the
“This correction is a significant achievement against a
newspaper that has been a major contributor to the broader delegitimization of
Israel in the UK and beyond,” said Joe Hyams, HonestReporting’s chief
“It is shocking that it has taken the threat of legal action
to reverse a decision that was not based on reality. Nonetheless, it was
vital that HR took on the Guardian and the PCC as a matter of principle,
particularly at a time when Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital is
increasingly being called into question by the media.”
said, however, that the Guardian’s correction had not been agreed upon when the
newspaper unilaterally terminated its negotiations with HonestReporting and the
“Now that the Guardian has admitted that it was wrong, we call on
the PCC to issue a new ruling categorically stating that Tel Aviv is not
Israel’s capital, so that it is clear to the British media that it will not be
allowed to repeat this error.”
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