June 24, 2007

Make Paris the capital of the UK

This is strange. There have been various reports about how the BBC apologised for a reporter's reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Actually, according to the Jerusalem Post, the reporter was a tad more emotive about it than that:
Arab Media Watch, Muslim Public Affairs Committee, Friends of Al-Aksa and the Institute of Islamic Political Thought sent a joint complaint to the BBC after a presenter on its Football Focus program on March 24 mentioned that Jerusalem was Israel's capital and "historic soul."
But look how the Israeli foreign ministry has responded:
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said in response: "Jerusalem is Israel's capital. It is the right of every sovereign state to determine which city will be its capital..."
So can the UK make Paris its capital? Or maybe the USA can make Baghdad its capital. No, a country cannot simply declare another country's city to be its own. And even if it does so declare, the BBC doesn't have to accommodate the fiction.

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