Photo Credit: Noam Moskowitz/Flash90
Shahar Zubari is part of the Israeli Olympic team in London. But London has been unable to tell the difference between a real country (Israel) and an imagined one (Palestine).

At this year’s Olympics in London, there will be some unusual competitors. For one thing, for the first time there will be an Olympic competitor without a country. For another, there will be an Olympic team with a country, but no capital.

Guor Marial is a sleek runner from the newly-formed country of South Sudan. His country seceded from Sudan in a bloody civil war and is so new it has not yet had time to create a national Olympic committee.

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The International Olympic Committee decided to allow Marial to compete as an independent athlete in clothing that does not have any flag or national identification. He will race under the Olympic flag.

Less heartwarming is the decision by the BBC, which won the right to broadcast the Olympic games, to present Israel to the world as a country without a capital.

Jerusalem originally showed up on the official website as the capital of a country, but it was East Jerusalem, and the capital was “Palestine,” not Israel.

Following complaints filed last week by Mark Regev, a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Olympics site was changed. Now Jerusalem does not appear as the actual capital of any country at all. Israel, shorn of its capital, appears with the cumbersome and questionable listing as having its “seat of government is Jerusalem though most foreign embassies are in Tel Aviv.” And as for “Palestine,” its key fact is that its “intended seat of government is East Jerusalem.” For now, however, it at least has an “administrative capital” which is Ramallah.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

12 COMMENTS

  1. Fortunately I believe that the AVERAGE "Brit on the street" would guess that the capital of Israel is Jerusalem, even though most Brits regard anywhere beyond Dover as irrelevant to the universe! The main exceptions are the minority Leftists and others miseducated to ignorance and bigotry; they may have a loud voice, but TG they are still a small minority.

  2. They LOVE Arabs… they give Radical Muslims more air time than any one else, they adore Choudry, think the sun shines out of his Alimentary Canal….

  3. The Israeli Symphony was going to broadcast on BBC radio. Islamic thugs protest but were quickly thrown out. BBC had a back up tape already playing. BBC knew about the protest, did not warn the venue, because they did not want to air the Israelis. BBC is anti-semitic as any bigoted group.

  4. Rc Fowler, This Brit knows more than you give him credit for, Israel is in a fictitious country called Palestine, a name given to the area by the Romans, it's Capitol is Jerusalem, Numbers 34 gives you some idea as to the country that belongs to Israel …..

  5. British society has an unfortunate and frustrating strain of anti-semitism, fed by ignorance. The royal family has not made a real effort to become familiar with Israel, and simply fosters white anglo saxon protestant elitism. Queen Elizabeth II has chosen not to use her influence to be progressive over the past 60 years in modernizing their society, and coming to terms with many of the new realities of global politics.

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