BSA says Jerusalem is not in Israel any more and news organisations must report this new fact

Is Jerusalem in Israel?

Well no, according to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Honest Reporting explains:

ONE News New Zealand aired a broadcast in October concerning the wave of Palestinian terrorism in Israel. Setting the scene, the correspondent stated:

Road blocks are in place and thousands of police and soldiers are patrolling across Israel as it tries to stop a wave of violence. In the latest attack, a Palestinian stabbed a 70 year old woman before he was shot dead.

The report than showed video footage of a terrorist being shot next to the Damascus Gate of the Old City. The caption on the video read “Jerusalem.”

The broadcast sparked a complaint to the BSA by the Wellington Palestine Group. It believed that viewers would be confused into thinking that the scene of the incident and, in fact, the whole city of Jerusalem might actually be located in Israel.   

The WPG claimed:

The inability of TVNZ  [Television New Zealand] to get simple geography on this matter correct so often means viewers are led to believe the Israeli version that East Jerusalem is a legitimate part of Israel and thus any resistance to the occupation cannot be legitimate.

Leaving aside the fact that they are in essence referring to the stabbing of a 70 year old woman as legitimate “resistance to the occupation,” “simple geography” shows that Jerusalem is one, united city. There is no separate geographic designation of an “East” Jerusalem.  The old 1949 armistice line that divided the city has long disappeared and today Arabs and Jews would be hard pressed to actual pinpoint where this separation once occurred.

Moreover, to make the claim that the Old City of Jerusalem, the national, spiritual, and historic heart of the Jewish people is not a part of Israel is absurd.

Yet rather than immediately dismiss this frivolous claim, it was actually upheld by the BSA, which instructed the station to be more careful in the future, and to avoid even the implication that Jerusalem might be a part of Israel.

Concluding its decision, the BSA states:

There is high public interest in ensuring geographical descriptions are correct when discussing events and the conflict in the region.

We agree.

But we believe that in siding completely with a group that espouses an obvious agenda hostile to Israel, the BSA did the exact opposite at the expense of reality.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority have bungled this completely and allowed their complaint processes to be used for political aims. Their utter stupidity has reduced their supposed authority.

We are seeing now a propensity for, mostly left-wing, activists to use complaints processes to achieve that which they have failed to achieve through their protest activities.

It demeans the processes but, unfortunately, most of the people staffing these organisations seem to be rather soft in calling these things out for what they are: another form of political protest.

Of course, the BSA even get their history wrong. East Jerusalem was part of Jordan, and then annexed after the 1948 Arab Israeli War. In 1967 Israel, during the Six-Day War, captured East Jerusalem and subsequently annexed it back into Israel. So, while the international community accepted Jordan’s annexation they refuse to accept Israel’s subsequent annexation. Now there are claims that this is part of ‘Palestine’, which can’t be true if Jordan’s annexation is recognised.

Of course, history still defeats the so-called Palestinian claim as, prior to Jordan’s annexation of East Jerusalem it was still a British Protectorate from 1917 until 1948, and prior to that it was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1517 until 1917. There hasn’t been any such thing as Palestine for hundreds and nearly thousands of years. It is a modern construct, created AFTER the annexation of East Jerusalem from Jordan in favour of Israel.

If East Jerusalem is part of any country other than Israel then the correct answer is Jordan.

History is against the BSA; this decision is ridiculous.

What this decision now establishes is that the BSA makes ruling on matters of contentious international law. The situation can be summarised as follows:

  • It has allowed itself to be used as a political tool/pawn by the anti-Israel protest movement.
  • Palestine is not a uniformly internationally recognised state. Where are its borders? Where is its capital? The PA might declare its capital to be East Jerusalem, but it does not have a seat of government there.
  • The Wikipedia link is quite useful for its source material though it is full of bias. Check out the status section and in particular the GA resolution at FN 31:

Reaffirming further its resolution 66/18 of 30 November 2011 and all relevant resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem, bearing in mind that the annexation of East Jerusalem is not recognized by the international community, and emphasizing the need for a way to be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the capital of two States.

  • Also note the US position on Jerusalem:

In 1990 the United States Senate adopted a resolution “acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s capital” and stating that it “strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city.” In 1991 however, United States Secretary of State James Baker stated that the United States is “opposed to the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and the extension of Israeli law on it and the extension of Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries”. Historically, the US had viewed East Jerusalem as forming part of the West Bank, a territory under belligerent occupation. However, the subsequent Clinton Administration refused to characterise East Jerusalem as being under occupation and viewed it as a territory over which sovereignty was undefined. Vice President Gore stated that the US viewed “united Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel. In light of this designation, the US has since abstained from Security Council resolutions which use language which construes East Jerusalem as forming part of the West Bank.

  • I think the BSA read the one line about East Jerusalem being internationally recognised as part of Palestine and went from there. The BSA has cited no authority or reference for its statement that East Jerusalem is internationally recognised as part of Palestine.
  • Even if you don’t accept the annexation, before 1967 the area was controlled by Jordan. So, if you want to go back to the 1949, ownership will go to Jordan.
  • The “green line” is an armistice line, not a defined border. The status of Jerusalem is, of course, one of the main negotiating points between the Pals and Israel and the BSA have completely pre-empted this.
  • There is no physical border between East and West Jerusalem. It is an undivided city, and not like Berlin was. You do not cross through passport control or a checkpoint or anything between West and East. When I visited Jerusalem in 2014 there were no borders anywhere in Jerusalem.
  • Hebrew University, by the way, is in East Jerusalem, as is, of course, the Wailing Wall – the most sacred site for the Jewish people.
  • Most importantly, how is the labelling of East Jerusalem relevant or material to the piece on TVNZ about Arab violence towards Jews? The subtext is that stabbing a 70-year.old woman is legitimate resistance to occupation if in Palestine, which leads us back to the earlier point that the BSA have been manipulated by an anti-Israel political agenda.


– Honest Reporting

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.