Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q2 2016 – part two

As noted in part one of this post, between April 1st and June 30th 2016, fifty-four reports relating to Israel and/or the Palestinians (along with others relating to non-Israeli Jews) appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page, some of which were cross posted from other sections of the site. 24% of those reports covered stories relating to security/terrorism which were current at the time or follow-up to previously reported

The remaining 76% 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.)

Four reports related to historical subject matter.

Operation Solomon: Airlifting 14,000 Jews out of Ethiopia (25/5/16 to 28/5/16)

Items from Israel Entebbe hostage rescue (27/6/16 to 3/7/16)

Entebbe: A mother’s week of ‘indescribable fear’ (27/6/16 to 30/6/16) (discussed here)

WW2 Jewish escape tunnel uncovered in Lithuania’s Ponar forest (29/6/16 to 30/6/16)

Two reports can be categorised as miscellaneous.

‘Polish Catholic posed as rabbi’ in Poznan (20/4/16 to 21/4/16)

Angel mosaic revealed at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity (29/6/16 to 4/7/16)

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

Gush Etzion Junction: The deadly roundabout (28/4/16 to 1/5/16) (discussed here, here and here)

Israel-Palestinian tensions return to boiling point (4/5/16 to 12/5/16) (discussed here)

My son the bomber, my daughter the victim (5/5/16 to 9/5/16) (discussed here)

New hope for Holy Land’s minefield churches (16/5/16 to 18/5/16) (discussed here)

The most dangerous church in the world (16/5/16 to 17/5/16) (discussed here)

Israel-Palestinian two-state solution ‘in serious danger’ (3/6/16 to 6/6/16) (discussed here)Bangladesh art

Bangladesh home minister suggests Israel behind spate of killings (6/6/16 to 7/6/16) (discussed here)

Dead Sea drying: A new low-point for Earth (17/6/16 to 21/6/16) (discussed here)

Israel and Turkey end rift over Gaza flotilla killings (27/6/16 to 28/6/16) (discussed here)

Turkey plays diplomatic chess in Middle East (29/6/16 to 4/7/16) (discussed here)

Four reports cross-posted on the Middle East page related to UK politics and antisemitism.

MP Naz Shah suspended from Labour (27/4/16 to 28/4/16)

What’s the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism? (28/4/16 to 2/5/16) (discussed here)

Jeremy Corbyn denies crisis as Ken Livingstone suspended (28/4/16 to 30/4/16)

Chief Rabbi condemns ‘offensive’ Corbyn anti-Semitism comments (30/6/16 to 1/7/16) (discussed here)

Seven reports related to Palestinian affairs.

Gaza cinema a new experience for many with first screenings in 20 years (8/4/16 to 15/4/16) (discussed here)

Palestinian doctor turns personal tragedy into dramatic play (15/4/16 to 19/4/16) (discussed here and here)

Traditional industries in the West Bank (17/5/16 to 20/5/16) (discussed here)

New Palestinian museum opens without exhibits (18/5/16 to 20/5/16) (discussed here)

More than half UN schools in Middle East targeted in conflicts (21/5/16 to 23/5/16) discussed here)

UN alarmed by Hamas plans for executions in Gaza (26/5/16 to 27/5/16) (discussed here)

Gazans squeezed by triple taxes as Hamas replaces lost income (20/6/16 to 26/6/16) (discussed here)

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

a) reports relating to legal and/or criminal issues:

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

Video of Israeli soldier’s killing of Palestinian attacker fuels debate (11/4/16 to 17/4/16) (discussed here)

Israeli soldier charged over killing of wounded attacker (18/4/16 to 19/4/16)

Jerusalem Gay Pride: Ultra-Orthodox Jew convicted of murder over stabbing (19/4/16 to 20/4/16)

Israeli diamond dealer arrested amid huge fraud probe (21/4/16)

Israeli soldier goes on trial for killing wounded Palestinian attacker (9/5/16 to 10/5/16)

Jerusalem Gay Pride stabbing: ultra-orthodox Yishai Schlissel jailed for life (26/6/16 to 27/6/16) (discussed here and here)

b) immigration:

Ethiopian Jews’ Israel migration hope (28/4/16 to 2/5/16)

c) society:

Israel promotes Arab police officer to senior rank (13/4/16 to 15/4/16) (discussed here)

Jesus’s tomb in Jerusalem undergoes restoration work (6/6/16 to 8/6/16) (discussed here)

d) domestic politics:

Golan Heights ‘forever Israeli’, PM Benjamin Netanyahu vows (17/4/16 to 18/4/16)

Israel’s Netanyahu criticises military official over Nazi claim (8/5/16 to 9/5/16) (discussed here)

Israel politics: Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon resigns in protest (20/5/16 to 21/5/16) (discussed here and here)

Avigdor Lieberman named as Israel’s defence minister (25/5/16 to 27/5/16) (discussed here and here)

Internal Israeli affairs received twice as much coverage as Palestinian affairs during the second quarter of 2016. Notably, BBC audiences saw two relatively rare reports relating to social issues (taxes and executions) under the Hamas regime. As was the case in the first quarter, a significant proportion of the Israel related stories the BBC chose to publish related to domestic legal and/or criminal issues and those reports make up 13% of all the articles published during the second quarter.


Overall throughout the first half of 2016, 30.5% of the BBC’s reporting on Israel and the Palestinians related to security issues which were current at the time or were follow up to previously covered stories. The second most reported category in Q1 and Q2 was Israeli internal affairs (26.5%). Just 10.2% of the coverage related to Palestinian internal affairs.


Related Articles:

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

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

Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q2 2016 – part one 

More from Hadar Sela
What the BBC World Service edited out of a ‘Boston Calling’ report
The May 7th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Boston...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *