Guardian ‘violated accuracy’ over the status of Jerusalem

Responding to a specific complaint, the commission overturned its earlier decision and ruled that the Guardian newspaper had “violated principles of accuracy” when it referred to Tel Aviv as the Israeli capital. The precedent-setting ruling finally provides clarity on the long-running issue.

While acknowledging Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital was “arguable,” the complainants successfully reasoned that Tel Aviv was not the Israeli capital, and should not be referred to as such.
Board of Deputies Vice-President Alex Brummer said: “This ruling is welcome. It is not for the press to determine national capitals. It is time that all media outlets recognised this without qualification.”
The Zionist Federation’s Alan Aziz also welcomed the decision. He said: “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. It’s time the national media and UK government stopped treating Israel differently to other nations by not recognising its capital.”
The complaint was brought by pro-Israel media watchdog HonestReporting, after the Guardian published a correction on 22 April in which it “corrected” an earlier reference to Jerusalem being the capital of Israel.
Reacting to the judgement, HonestReporting’s CEO Joe Hyams said: “Fatuous claims over the status of Tel Aviv as a means to delegitimise Jerusalem as Israel’s rightful capital will now no longer be acceptable.”
The ruling will come as a blow to the Guardian, which has been heavily criticised by the Jewish community for its coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, acknowledged these problems. He said: “It is concerning when Guardian journalists take an unrelentingly antithetical line towards Israel. But to deliberately misrepresent facts is inexcusable.”Amir Ofek from the Israeli embassy in London added: “It was wrong to begin with, so why did the Guardian need a commission to tell them it was wrong? They should know it already.”
The ruling sets a precedent on British coverage of Israel and has already been used to force corrections from two other publications.
The Daily Mail this week corrected its reference to “the Tel Aviv government” to “the Jerusalem government,” and the Daily Telegraph corrected a reference to “the Israeli capital of Tel Aviv”.
Amendments made by all three publications were judged sufficient by the commission.
The capital of Israel has been a contentious issue in the British media for decades. The Jewish state proclaimed Jerusalem its capital in 1950, but the United Nations Security Council subsequently condemned the move, calling on states to withdraw embassies from the city

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Hughes’ one- state comment ‘out of context’

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT deputy leader Simon Hughes has accepted an invitation to join a delegation to the Middle East. His participation in the trip was revealed as a party source played down reports that he had suggested a one-state solution must be considered to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, insisting his remarks were taken “out of context”.

Hughes’ involvement in the next Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel Middle East trip was announced during a LDFI meeting at the party’s conference in Brighton, which was attended by Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub.

LDFI chairman Gavin Stollar said: “Simon Hughes has committed to clarify his reported statements [on the peace process] in due course and allay any fears these may have caused. The fact that he has agreed to join our next delegation indicates that he is a friend of Israel.”

Around 100 attendees heard from delegates who took part in the previous LDFI mission to the Middle East. Stephen Williams, MP, was among those sharing their experience. He said: “Meeting people like Arnold Roth, who lost his daughter Malki in the Sbarro pizza suicide bombing in 2001, brought home to me the realities on the ground. There is any number of challenges that exist, with no easy answers.” Lorely Burt MP, meanwhile, said she was “touched” to join a Jewish family in Jerusalem for a Friday night shabbat dinner.

The LDFI meeting took place amid rumours of tensions within the party over matters affecting Israel and the Middle East. Earlier this month, former Lib Dem Defence Minister Nick Harvey claimed he was sacked as part of a cabinet reshuffle as he did not agree with a strike on Iran, and because party leader Nick Clegg wanted to sign the UK up to military action.

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Prince Charles To Join Kinder Celebration

Three years after hosting a Clarence House reception for some of the refugees who fled to Britain before the outbreak of the Second World War, the heir to the throne will be among a host of dignitaries at the 23 November gathering – probably the last major event bringing together so many Kinder from around the world.

Guests will hear from among others Lord Attenborough, Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and keynote speaker. Sir Martin Gilbert, who will recall a recent conversation with Lady Thatcher about the Jewish girl to whom she and her family gave a home in 1939.

Representing the government, Tony McNulty MP will also be among those descending on JFS, which was instrumental in helping to evacuate many of the Kinder from London where they arrived to Ely.

A Clarence House spokesman told the Jewish News: “The Prince of Wales is delighted to be invited to meet the remaining kinder and their families. The event recognises an important and noble point in British history.”

Part of a four-day reunion of Kindertransport evacuees, Sunday’s event will also feature a service of Remembrance, a Klezmer concert and a panel discussion chaired by Edwina Currie and featuring among others Lady Jakobovits and Reunion of the Kindertransport founder Bertha Leverton.

Erich Reich, chairman of the Association of Jewish Refugee’s Kindertransport committee, said: “We are celebrating one of the single most important decisions ever taken by the British government. Thanks to its intervention some 10,000 children, myself included, were saved from certain death.

“We believe this occasion will prove to be an exceptional celebration in the company of some of those young children who arrived on these shores so many years ago.”

The reunion – which follows previous such gatherings in 1988 and 1999 – will also include several visits in the lead-up to the centrepiece celebration including to the Imperial War Museum and the Kindertransport monument at Liverpool Street Station.

- If you are interested in attending the event, call the AJR for more information on 020 8385 3070.

The celebrity group are booking agents who provide speakers for a variety of functions. For more information visit http://www.celebrity.co.uk.

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