Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q1 2016 – part two

As noted in part one of this post, between January 1st and March 31st 2016, seventy-four reports relating to Israel and/or the Palestinians appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page, some of which were cross posted from other sections of the site. 35% of those reports covered stories relating to security/terrorism which were current at the

The remaining 65% of those articles can be divided into a number of categories. (The dates in brackets represent the period of time in which each report was available to visitors to the website’s Middle East page.)

Six reports related to historical topics.

Switzerland ‘made secret deal with PLO’ after bomb attacks (22/1/16 to 23/1/16) (discussed here)

Israel releases Nazi Eichmann’s execution plea papers (27/1/16 to 29/1/16)

Albert Einstein: the man who predicted gravitational waves (12/2/16 to 16/2/16)

Last Treblinka death camp survivor Samuel Willenberg dies (21/2/16 to 22/2/16)

Auschwitz survivor is world’s oldest man – Guinness World Records (11/3/16 to 12/3/16)

Israeli hiker finds ‘second of kind’ Roman coin (14/3/16 to 16/3/16) 

Four reports can be categorised as miscellaneous:

Reporter stabbed while testing protective vest (7/1/16 to 8/1/16)

Israeli TV reporter stabbed demonstrating ‘knife-proof’ vest (7/1/16) (discussed here)

Starlings form spectacular ‘dancing clouds’ over Israel. (12/1/16 to 14/1/16)

AirMule military drone set to dodge trees in tests (14/1/16 to 15/1/16)

Twelve reports related to Israeli diplomatic/international relations and/or political aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Israel apologises to Singapore for flag ‘misuse’ (31/12/15 to 1/1/16) (discussed here)

Israel’s Netanyahu: Swedish FM’s remarks ‘outrageous’ (15/1/16 to 18/1/16) (discussed here)

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom under fire – again (20/1/16 to 25/1/16) (discussed here)

Netanyahu says UN chief Ban Ki-moon ‘encouraging terror’ (27/1/16 to 28/1/16) (discussed here)

Netanyahu: ‘United Nations encouraging terrorism’ (27/1/16) (discussed here)

Israeli defence minister accuses Turkey of buying IS oil (27/1/16 to 28/1/16)

US and UK ‘hacked into Israeli drones and planes’ (29/1/16 to 31/1/16)

Israel-Palestinian conflict: Is one homeland the solution? (29/1/16 to 1/2/16) (discussed here)

Lebanon returns Israeli vulture cleared of spying (30/1/16 to 1/2/16) (discussed here)

Israel’s Netanyahu rejects US ‘surprise’ at Obama talks cancellation (8/3/16 to 9/3/16)

Israel rejects database of settlement-linked firms (25/3/16 to 26/3/16) (discussed here)

Israel backs down in Brazil diplomat stand-off  (28/3/16 to 29/3/16)

Six reports related to Palestinian affairs.

Christmas in Bethlehem: Hopes and fears for the future (24/12/15 to 3/1/16) (discussed here)

Gaza medics back striking English junior doctors (13/1/16 to 16/1/16) (discussed here)

Gaza: Hamas militants die in tunnel collapse (28/1/16 to 29/1/16) (discussed here)

UN and Palestinian Authority appeal for $571m aid (11/2/16 to 12/2/16) (discussed here)

Palestinian Mohammed al-Qiq ending marathon hunger strike (26/2/16 to 29/2/16) (discussed here)

Palestinian refugee camp teacher wins $1m global prize (14/3/16 to 15/3/16) (discussed here)

Twenty articles concerned Israel related issues – mostly domestic – and they can be divided into sub categories including:

a) the health of the former Israeli president:

Israel’s Shimon Peres treated after minor heart attack  (14/1/16 to 15/1/16)

Israel’s Shimon Peres hospitalised with chest pains  (24/1/16 to 25/1/16)

b) stories relating to legal and/or criminal issues:

Israelis charged over Eritrean migrant beating (13/1/16 to 14/1/16)

Auschwitz price-fixing claims: Israel police arrest nine (19/1/16)

Israel court extends ex-PM Ehud Olmert’s jail term by a month (10/2/16 to 11/2/16)

Sara Netanyahu: Israeli PM’s wife mistreated staff, court says (10/2/16 to 12/2/16)

Ehud Olmert jail term: Israel ex-PM begins sentence for bribery (15/2/16 to 16/2/16)

Israel’s Cellebrite linked to FBI’s iPhone hack attempt (23/3/16 to 24/3/16)

Israel’s Mediterranean gas deal struck down by top court (27/3/16 to 28/3/16) (discussed here)

Israeli soldier ‘faces manslaughter’ for killing wounded attacker (31/3/16 to 1/4/16)

c) immigration:

Western Europe Jewish migration to Israel at ‘all-time high’ (14/1/16 to 15/1/16)

Yemeni Jews brought to Israel in secret mission (21/3/16 to 23/3/16) (discussed here)

d) social issues

Israeli-Palestinian love story becomes a bestseller (8/1/16 to 10/1/16) (discussed here)

Israeli veganism takes root in land of milk and honey (25/1/16 to 31/1/16)

Liberal Jews to get prayer site at Jerusalem’s Western Wall (31/1/16 to 1/2/16)

New prayer space approved at Jerusalem’s Western Wall (1/2/16 to 4/2/16)

Israel’s unwanted African migrants (3/2/16 to 5/2/16) (discussed here)

Anger as Israel company ‘prices staff by ethnicity’ (8/2/16 to 11/2/16) (discussed here)

Jerusalem Jewish group on anti-Arab patrol (9/2/16 to 10/2/16) (discussed here)

School which breaks down barriers in Jerusalem (10/3/16 to 14/3/16) discussed here)

Israeli affairs were the subject of 27% of Israel/Palestinian related articles appearing on the BBC News website’s Middle East page during the first quarter of 2016 and a proportion of those reports portrayed Israel as a society which discriminates against African migrants, foreign workers and Arabs. In contrast, just over 8% of the content related to Palestinian affairs but none of the reports addressed legal or social issues within Palestinian society.

Graph website Q1




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