Olympics: BBC website fudges on capitals of Israel, Palestine

The BBC amended its Olympics Web page on the capitals of Israel and Palestine following complaints from Israel.

Under the Israel entry, the BBC amended the site to say the country’s “seat of government [is] Jerusalem, though most foreign embassies are in Tel Aviv,” and amended the Palestine entry to say its “intended seat of government” is “East Jerusalem. Ramallah serves as administrative capital.”

The website at first had listed east Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and listed no capital for Israel — the only country with no capital listed.

After complaints from the public and a letter from Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the BBC amended its site.

“Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel, and accordingly we respectfully request the immediate rectification of this matter,” Regev wrote.

Palestine has been recognized as a member of the Olympic Council of Asia since 1986 and the International Olympic Committee since 1995. — jta