Wednesday, August 08, 2012

HonestReporting Forces Guardian To Retract Claim That Tel Aviv Is Capital Of Israel


For immediate release: August 8, 2012

HonestReporting Forces Guardian To Retract Claim That Tel Aviv Is Capital Of Israel

The Guardian has retracted its claim that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel, writing unequivocally on Wednesday, "we accept that it is wrong to state that Tel Aviv – the country's financial and diplomatic centre – is the capital."

The Guardian’s concession follows a threat of judicial review against the UK’s Press Complaints Commission by HonestReporting (advised by UK solicitors Asserson Law Offices).

The PCC, a regulatory body that ensures accuracy in the UK media initially ruled that The Guardian's claim was correct. HonestReporting, along with noted UK lawyer Trevor Asserson, then took initial steps to file for a judicial review of the decision, forcing the PCC to withdraw its ruling and demand that The Guardian defend its position.

In response to HonestReporting’s pressure on the PCC, The Guardian backed down from its claim, issuing a correction. It also changed its style guide, which had stated that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel, to reflect the correction.

Although The Guardian has been forced to withdraw its absurd suggestion regarding the status of Tel Aviv, the wording of The Guardian’s correction has not been agreed after the newspaper unilaterally terminated its negotiations with HonestReporting and the PCC.

HonestReporting still awaits a new ruling from the PCC to replace the faulty decision it issued in May and agreed to reconsider in July.

HonestReporting’s CEO Joe Hyams said in response:
“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.

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 HonestReporting 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.

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.”

With over 170,000 subscribers worldwide, HonestReporting is the world’s largest media watchdog organization dedicated to ensuring that Israel is represented fairly and accurately in the media. HR monitors the media, exposes cases of bias, promotes balance, and effects change through education and action.

For more information, e-mail Simon Plosker: or call +972 54 5802030.

For more background, see the following materials from HonestReporting:
The British Empire Strikes Back: UK Body Rules Tel Aviv is Israel’s Capital

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