Recently, Benjamin Netanyahu’s office noticed an omission on the BBC Olympic country page for Israel. Jerusalem was not listed as the capital. But on Palestine’s page, East Jerusalem was undisputed.
Outraged, the prime minister’s office launched a Facebook campaign to convince the BBC that Jerusalem is in Israel, not Palestine. The government’s “Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel” page read:
Following the BBC’s decision to ommit Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel from its Olympic Games website, this is your place to support Jerusalem–the one and only Capital of Israel. [sic]
Since the page went live on Wednesday, fewer than 4,500 have “liked” the page, with one of the “like”—ers being the prime minister himself. In addition, Mark Regev, Netanyahu’s Foreign Press Adviser, sent a letter to the BBC demanding they update the entry:
Letter from a Netanyahu staffer Mark Regev expressing dismay that the BBC does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
In response, the BBC changed Israel’s profile, but stood their ground on not listing the Jerusalem as the capital. The new profile reads:
Seat of government Jerusalem, though most foreign embassies are in Tel Aviv.
BBC Olympic country profiles do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or Palestine.
But when it came to Palestine, the BBC did seem to give in to Israel’s online push. The news organization removed “East Jerusalem,” and inserted Ramallah as the West Bank and Gaza Strip’s administrative capital:
Intended seat of government East Jerusalem. Ramallah serves as administrative capital.