Wednesday, October 03, 2012

HonestReporting Wins Precedent-Setting Ruling On Jerusalem As Israel's Capital


For immediate release: October 02, 2012


Responding to a complaint from HonestReporting, the UK’s Press Complaints Commission (PCC) ruled this week that The Guardian newspaper violated principles of accuracy when it stated that Tel Aviv was the capital of Israel.

The ruling set a precedent on British coverage of Israel, effectively barring all British publications from referring to Tel Aviv as Israel's capital. The PCC then upheld the precedent this week, ruling against the Daily Mail on the same issue. As a result of the ruling, the Daily Mail changed reference to "the Tel Aviv government" to "the Jerusalem government" and published a printed correction.

The PCC ruling against The Guardian brings to an end a process that began in April when The Guardian brazenly declared Tel Aviv as Israel's capital, and included the reference in its style guide. HR issued a complaint and the PCC – unbelievably – ruled in favor of The Guardian.

In response to the ruling, HR took initial steps to launch a judicial review of the PCC. The PCC then withdrew its ruling, leading The Guardian to correct its statement on Tel Aviv and change its style guide. This week's new ruling accepted that The Guardian’s correction was sufficient.     

The PCC is an independent self-regulatory body which deals with complaints about the editorial content of newspapers and magazines (and their websites). Referring to the original dispute with The Guardian, the PCC stated that:

“the Commission had initially reached the view that the newspaper’s description of Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel had not raised an issue under the [Editors’] Code [of Practice]. However, having considered the further submissions from the complainant, the Commission concluded that … the unequivocal statement that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel had the potential to mislead readers and raised a breach of Clause 1 (i) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.”

Commenting on this latest achievement, HonestReporting’s CEO Joe Hyams said:

“Together with Asserson Law Offices, Israel’s leading English law firm, HonestReporting has successfully persuaded the PCC that Tel Aviv is not Israel’s capital. This sets an important precedent that brings to an end any further debate in the British media on this issue. Fatuous claims over the status of Tel Aviv as a means to delegitimize Jerusalem as Israel’s rightful capital will no longer be acceptable.

The PCC has sent a clear message for the UK media to uphold standards on accuracy while HonestReporting has demonstrated the efficacy of pursuing legal action when necessary to defend Israel against media bias.”


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 the entire text of the PCC ruling see
For more background on the story of HonestReporting’s legal action against the PCC and The Guardian see

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