Swedish journalist stands by claim that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital


(JTA) — The editor of a Swedish news website dismissed complaints about his publication’s claim that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital, asserting incorrectly that it is the position of the United Nations.

“Tel Aviv is, according to the U.N., the capital of Israel,”ABC Nyheter editor-in-chief Daniel Lilja wrote this week to a reader who sought a correction.

He advised her to “study geography and Swedish grammar.”

Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital is not universally recognized, although the United Nations and the European Union, including Sweden, have not designated Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital. The United States has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The United Nations database of its member states lists Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with a footnote that reads “Designation and data provided by Israel. The position of the United Nations on Jerusalem is stated in A/RES/181 (II) and subsequent General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.” The document referenced in the footnote mentions neither Tel Aviv nor any other capital city for Israel.

The Guardian and The Observer have corrected their writers’ claims several times that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital.

Lilja, however, wrote to the reader: “Your claim that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel is equally erroneous as arguing that Copenhagen is Sweden’s capital.” He added that he will write “a travel guide to the capital of Israel: Tel Aviv.”

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