20 July 2012
The UK’s main public broadcaster BBC has agreed to list Jerusalem as Israel's 'seat of government' following a complaint by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office that it had not listed the city as Israeli capital but did mentioned ‘East Jerusalem’ as the capital of ‘Palestine'. Mark Regev, Netanyahu's foreign press adviser and spokesman, wrote a letter of protest to Paul Danahar, the BBC Middle East bureau chief, on Wednesday, saying that he was "dismayed by the BBC's decision to discriminate against Israel on the BBC's Olympic website." The site includes a page devoted to each of the countries taking part in the London Games, which will begin next week.
Regev wrote the BBC bureau chief that "every country (and non-country ) participating in the London 2012 Games has been given a page on your website with background information about the country, including mention of the capital city. Every country (and non-country) except Israel. Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel, and accordingly we respectfully request the immediate rectification of this matter."
In response, the BBC altered both pages. Israel's page now reads: "Seat of government Jerusalem, though most foreign embassies are in Tel Aviv," while Palestine's reads "Intended seat of government East Jerusalem. Ramallah serves as administrative capital."
The compromise has not satisfied Israel, and Regev wrote again to the BBC on Thursday, saying that Israel was "still discriminated against" on the website. "Unlike all the other countries listed, in Israel's case our capital Jerusalem is not classified by the BBC as such, but rather as a 'seat of government.' I kindly request that Israel's capital be identified accurately on your website."
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