Is Jerusalem in Israel?

Is the Old City of Jerusalem in Israel?

Not if you go by the recent ruling of the New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA).

ONE News New Zealand aired a broadcast in October concerning the wave of Palestinian terrorism in Israel. Setting the scene, the correspondent stated:

Road blocks are in place and thousands of police and soldiers are patrolling across Israel as it tries to stop a wave of violence. In the latest attack, a Palestinian stabbed a 70 year old woman before he was shot dead.

The report than showed video footage of a terrorist being shot next to the Damascus Gate of the Old City. The caption on the video read “Jerusalem.”

The broadcast sparked a complaint to the BSA by the Wellington Palestine Group. It believed that viewers would be confused into thinking that the scene of the incident and, in fact, the whole city of Jerusalem might actually be located in Israel.

The WPG claimed:

The inability of TVNZ  [Television New Zealand] to get simple geography on this matter correct so often means viewers are led to believe the Israeli version that East Jerusalem is a legitimate part of Israel and thus any resistance to the occupation cannot be legitimate.

Leaving aside the fact that they are in essence referring to the stabbing of a 70 year old woman as legitimate “resistance to the occupation,” “simple geography” shows that Jerusalem is one, united city. There is no separate geographic designation of an “East” Jerusalem.  The old 1949 armistice line that divided the city has long disappeared and today Arabs and Jews would be hard pressed to actual pinpoint where this separation once occurred.

Moreover, to make the claim that the Old City of Jerusalem, the national, spiritual, and historic heart of the Jewish people is not a part of Israel is absurd.

Yet rather than immediately dismiss this frivolous claim, it was actually upheld by the BSA, which instructed the station to be more careful in the future, and to avoid even the implication that Jerusalem might be a part of Israel.

Concluding its decision, the BSA states:

There is high public interest in ensuring geographical descriptions are correct when discussing events and the conflict in the region.

We agree.

But we believe that in siding completely with a group that espouses an obvious agenda hostile to Israel, the BSA did the exact opposite at the expense of reality.

You can send your considered comments to the BSA by visiting its contact page and referring to the decision: “Wellington Palestine Group and Television New Zealand Ltd – 2015-101 (12 May 2016).”

Please add your email below to join our HonestReporting Down Under news list. All fields under email are optional.
Featured image:
Photo by Nati Shohat /Flash90