Where’s Dan Parkinson when The Beeb needs him?
The BBC apologized this week for referring to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and promised not to repeat “the mistake,” following a complaint by four British organizations.
Arab Media Watch, Muslim Public Affairs Committee, Friends of Al-Aksa and the Institute of Islamic Political Thought sent a joint complaint to the BBC after a presenter on its Football Focus program on March 24 mentioned that Jerusalem was Israel’s capital and “historic soul.”
In a letter to the complaining NGOs, Fraser Steel, head of editorial complaints at the BBC, said: “We of course accept that the international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and that the BBC should not describe it as such…”
[Israeli] Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said in response: “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. It is the right of every sovereign state to determine which city will be its capital. If this is not accepted by everyone today, I am confident it will be in the future.”
London-based Arab Media Watch told The Jerusalem Post: “Under international law, neither east nor west Jerusalem is considered Israel’s capital. Tel Aviv is recognized as Israel’s capital, pending a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.” — Jerusalem Post
I’m not a lawyer, but this is impossible. West Jerusalem, where the Knesset is located, has been in Israeli hands since 1948. Before that, it was controlled by the British, and prior to that, the Turks. Possibly Arab Media Watch thinks that ‘International law’ means ‘any old UN resolution’.
Indeed, the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite the fact that the State Department is afraid to allow its embassy to be moved there.