(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.
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.
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
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.
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