CAMERA Prompts Los Angeles Times Correction on Jerusalem Embassies

CAMERA’s Israel office today prompted correction of a Los Angeles Times story which wrongly stated that all diplomatic missions to Israel have always been in Tel Aviv. The Feb. 24 article (“U.S. accelerates plans for embassy in Jerusalem,” Tracy Wilkinson and Noga Tarnopolsy, online here) erred:

The May 14 date – the date Israel originally declared independence – significantly accelerates the schedule for transferring the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, where it always existed along with the rest of the world’s diplomatic missions, to the disputed holy city of Jerusalem.

Readers would incorrectly understand from here that no country has ever had a diplomatic mission, embassy or otherwise, in Jerusalem. In fact, more than a dozen countries have had their embassy located in Jerusalem at some point in the past. As Haaretz reported:

But there was a period in Israels [sic] short history when at least 16 states had their ambassadors stationed in the city.

Three of them were African nations – Ivory Coast, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Kenya; 11 were from Latin America – Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela, opening embassies as early as the 1950s; as well as the Netherlands and Haiti.

Moreover, diplomatic missions are not just embassies. They are consular offices, such as the American consulate-general on Agron Street in Jerusalem, which has been there since 1912. According to The Tablet, the U.S. facility on Agron

is one of nine consulates-general in Jerusalem, all of which serve the same purpose. Five of them—the UK, Turkey, Belgium, Spain and Sweden—are in eastern Jerusalem. The consulates-general of the US, France, Italy, and Greece are in western Jerusalem. The European Union also has a representative office in eastern Jerusalem, and the Holy See has an Apostolic Nunciature there, alongside the Palestinian offices of several international agencies.

The Times maintained that an argument could be made that consular offices are not diplomatic missions, and declared to clarify that point. Editors did, however, agree to publish making clear that some countries had located their embassies in Jerusalem in the past. The Times added the following “For the Record” to the top of the digital article:

In addition, the following correction appears in today’s print edition:

Embassy in Jerusalem: In the Feb. 24 Section A, an article about plans to open a small U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem in May said the U.S. Embassy in Israel has always been in Tel Aviv, “along with the rest of the world’s diplomatic missions.” A small number of countries had embassies in Jerusalem in the past.
For additional Los Angeles Times corrections prompted by CAMERA, please see here. For the Arabic version of this post, please see CAMERA Arabic.

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