In Ahn Sung-kyoo’s interview of Israel’s ambassador to Korea, Yigal Caspi, “Military Giant, Feeling Under Siege,” Jan. 28 of which a translated version appeared in the JoongAng Daily, the following sentence is included: “Many critics denounced Tel Aviv for using the rockets as an excuse to launch its military action, an easy way to drum up voter support in an election year.”
The reporter here apparently attempted to use a technique used by many journalists in Korea and worldwide to refer to a country’s government, its political power center, by naming its capital city.
This is frequently seen on Korean broadcast news, in references to “Beijing” to refer to China’s leadership, as “Tokyo” for Japan’s political power base, and of course “Seoul” and “Pyongyang” for South and North Korea’s political power bases, respectively.
All of these cities mentioned, are, of course, their respective countries’ capital city.
The exception? Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv may be Israel’s largest city in population and its business center, but it is not now nor has it ever been, Israel’s capital.
The capital, where Israel’s government, the Knesset (parliament), and central government ministries are all located, is Jerusalem.
It is surprising that despite her “in-depth” interview with the Israeli envoy, the reporter did not glean this key piece of information.
Joel Levin, Seoul
While Jerusalem was declared the capital in 1950, almost all embassies are based in Tel Aviv. (Ed.)