The UK’s Jewish News reports:
The BBC this week insisted that “no offence was intended” after Tel Aviv was described as Israel’s capital during a commentary on the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
The error came during Radio 5 Live’s coverage of England’s defeat to Norway last Saturday night. After Jewish News contacted the BBC in response to a call from a concerned reader, a spokesperson for the corporation said: “This was a live broadcast and sometimes errors are unfortunately made. We understand this is a sensitive issue and no offence was intended.”
It’s gratifying that the BBC acknowledged its error. However, the BBC commentators must have physically been at the game in Petah Tikva’s HaMoshava Stadium knowing that they would also be visiting Jerusalem for England’s next match (which Israel won!).
So it appears that the myth of Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital has become so ingrained in the media psyche that even visiting the country is not enough to overturn this falsehood.
Incidentally, the BBC is not covered by the Press Complaints Commission. Had it been so, perhaps it would have been extra careful not to commit an error that The Guardian and the PCC itself were forced to correct as a result of HonestReporting’s actions in 2012.