Putting the Brakes on Arabic Media Falsely Citing ‘Non-Stop’ Tel Aviv As Israel’s Capital

Like hummus joints studding a Middle Eastern metropolis, false references to Tel Aviv as shorthand for Israel are a fixture of the Arabic media landscape, experts repeatedly told CAMERA prior to the 2018 launch of CAMERA Arabic. This seemingly immutable feature is true even for Arabic-language reports published in Western media outlets which do not accept that false assertion in English and other languages, the media professionals said.

A second takeaway from the countless meetings with Arabic media insiders was that there is no body or organization holding Western media outlets accountable for their misreporting in Arabic, and no one systematically communicating to English-language editors the alternate reality reporting of their Arabic-speaking colleagues, employees of their very own media institutions. Nor is there any culture of correcting erroneous reporting appearing in Arabic-language reports of Western media outlets.

A Tel Aviv street at night (Photo by Mikhail Kryshen Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License)

Some five years later, following the establishment and the growing successes of CAMERA Arabic, the second point is no longer true. CAMERA Arabic has clearly established itself as the leading (and only) organization systematically monitoring, prompting an impressive 41 Arabic corrections at leading Western media outlets last year.

As for the first Arabic media fixture, CAMERA Arabic puts the brakes on the non-stop formulation falsely casting the “non-stop city,” ie Tel Aviv, as Israel’s capital.

During the months of August and September 2022, CAMERA Arabic prompted 17 corrections at four media outlets which falsely referred to Tel Aviv as Israel’s seat of government. Below is a comprehensive list of the corrections.

Deutsche Welle Arabic (Germany) corrected eight reports on Aug. 25:

July 20 (before/after): “Brussels, Tel Aviv and Cairo The EU, Israel and Egypt have signed an agreement to export Israeli gas to Europe”

July 24 (before/after): “Moscow is displeased by Tel Aviv’s Israel’s position towards the Ukrainian war”

July 26 (before/after): “Tel Aviv Israel described the request to ‘dissolve’ the Jewish Agency for emigration out of Russia as a ‘severe incident’”

July 26 (before/after): “Tel Aviv and Rabat Israel and Morocco signed a memorandum of cooperation in the field of law”

Aug. 8 (before/after): “ongoing fire that Tel Aviv Israel has exchanged with the ‘Islamic Jihad’ movement”

Aug. 17: “years of severe tension which dominated the relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv the two countries”

Aug. 18 (before/after): “[photo caption:] Lavrov’s statements, where he compared Vlodimir Zelensky and Hitler, are an additional reason of tension between Moscow and Tel Aviv Russia and Israel”

Aug. 22 (before/after): “Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has confirmed the existence of a crisis in the relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv Egypt and Israel”

BBC Arabic (UK) – corrected throughout August and September

July 14 (original webpage version, original YouTube version; item was removed from the web): “Strengthening cooperation in defense between Tel Aviv and Rabat”

July 20th (before/after): “High-ranked American officials have disclosed that Washington actually laid out a roadmap for normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel, the details of which shall be presented to Tel Aviv Israel and Riyadh [BBC Arabic opted not to replace ‘Riyadh’ with ‘Saudi Arabia’]”

July 31st (before/after): “Tel Aviv Israel has announced at the time it has taken down those drones”

Sept. 17 (before/after): “Although it is rare for Israel to comment on airstrikes […] in Syria, Tel Aviv Israel admitted it had carried out hundreds of them.”

Al Hurra (US) – all corrected August 26

July 21 (before/after): “Information about assembling an ‘Arab NATO’ with Tel Aviv Israel to counter the Iranian threat […] an agreement between Tel Aviv and Riyadh Israel and Saudi Arabia

July 25 (before/after): “IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi has announced Tel Aviv Israel is preparing the internal front for war.”

Aug. 19 (before/after): “Tel Aviv and Ankara Turkey and Israel have launched a ‘re-warming’ process of their bilateral relations”

Aug. 20 (before/after): “What keeps Ankara Turkey distant from Damascus and Tel Aviv Syria and Israel alike”

I-24 News Arabic (Israel) – corrected Sept. 6

Aug. 26 (before/after): “[An Israeli official is quoted indirectly:] a process of dialogue has begun between Ankara and Tel Aviv Turkey and Israel”

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