CAMERA’s Israel office today prompted correction of an Associated Press article which had erroneously reported that Australia has recognized Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital. The Oct. 18 article, “Australia drops recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” had blatantly erred: “The center-left Labor Party government agreed to again recognize Tel Aviv as the capital.”
While the Australian government has agreed to drop recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, it has not recognized Tel Aviv as the capital.
Australian Foreign Minister Hon Penny Wong’s press statement about the policy decision to drop recognition of west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital notes that the embassy will remain in Tel Aviv, but does not say a word about recognizing Tel Aviv as the capital.
Numerous countries keep their embassies in Tel Aviv without (falsely) recognizing the city as Israel’s capital.
In response to communication from CAMERA, AP editors commendably republished the article today with corrected copy, stating: “The center-left Labor Party government agreed that the Australian Embassy would remain in Tel Aviv, as it has been.”
In addition, the following information was appended to the bottom of the article:
This story has been updated to remove an incorrect reference to the Australian government again recognizing Tel Aviv as the capital. Wong said the embassy would stay in Tel Aviv but did not mention recognizing the city as the capital.
On the page where the original inaccurate report had appeared, this straightforward correction appears instead:
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — In a story published October 18, 2022, about Australia dropping its former recognition of west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, The Associated Press erroneously reported that Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the government would again recognize Tel Aviv as the capital. Wong said the embassy would stay in Tel Aviv but did not mention recognizing the city as the capital.
Numerous AP clients which had initially published AP’s erroneous report, including The Washington Post, NPR, and The Albuquerque Journal have already corrected, some following communication from CAMERA. Others, like ABC and Time, have yet to correct, and CAMERA is reaching out to them as well.
Meanwhile, Forbes independently published the same misinformation, and also subsequently corrected following CAMERA’s communication. Under “Key Facts,” Forbes’ Oct. 18 article (“Australia U-Turns On Trump-Era Policy Recognizing West Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital“) had initially erred: “Australian foreign secretary Penny Wong said the government would again recognize Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel, according to multiple news reports.”
Nope, @TheRobertHart @Forbes. Australia did not recognize Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital. See today’s @AP correction on this very point. @CAMERAorg urges Forbes to likewise correct https://t.co/ywecCkFT5u pic.twitter.com/hR08PeSdjj
— Tamar Sternthal (@TamarSternthal) October 20, 2022
None of the hyperlinked articles cited by Forbes as sources for the erroneous claim actually reported that Australia has recognized Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital.
After CAMERA noted the error, Forbes issued a stealth correction, amending the copy without alerting readers to the change. The updated “Key Fact” now rightly notes: Australian foreign secretary Penny Wong said the government would keep its embassy in Tel Aviv, according to multiple news reports.”
Finally, Ynetnews‘ English edition also apparently borrowed from AP’s erroneous copy, wrongly reporting: “The center-left Australian government led by the Labor Party agreed on Tuesday to again recognize Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel.” While Itamar Eichner’s byline appears on the article, his Hebrew article on the Australian move does not contain the error, suggesting some sloppy editing at the English desk.
Stay tuned for additional updates.
Oct. 23 Update: ABC Pulls Story With Erroneous AP Claim
On Oct. 20, ABC deleted the AP article.