Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q4 2016 – part two

As noted in part one of this post, between October 1st and December 31st 2016, sixty-nine 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. 8.7% of those reports covered stories relating to security/

The remaining 91.3% of those articles can be categorised according to 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.)

Three reports related to historical subject matter:

Jerusalem reference found on ancient wine ledger (26/10/16 to 27/10/16) discussed here.

Oldest Ten Commandments carving auctioned for $850,000 in US (17/11/16 to 18/11/16)

Israel unveils Bronze Age ‘Thinker’ figurine (23/11/16 to 24/11/16)

Two reports can be categorised as miscellaneous:

Swimmers attempt to cross Dead Sea (15/11/16 to 16/11/16)

Bethlehem icons created by artists (24/12/16 to 25/12/16) 

Three reports related to the US elections/new US administration:

US election: How Israelis view the presidential contest (26/10/16 to 28/10/16) discussed here.

US election 2016: Middle East awaits Trump policy decisions (9/11/16 to 11/11/16) discussed here

Trump chooses pro-settlement hardliner as Israel envoy (16/12/16 to 18/12/16) discussed here

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

US ‘strongly condemns’ Israel over new settlement plan (6/10/16 to 9/10/16) discussed here.

Fifa urged to give red card to Israeli settlement clubs  (13/10/16) discussed here

Israel freezes Unesco ties for ‘denying Jewish holy sites’ (14/10/16 to 16/10/16) discussed here

Unesco passes contentious Jerusalem resolution (18/10/16 to 19/10/16) discussed here

Gas pipeline hope heals rupture in Israel-Turkey ties (19/10/16 to 23/10/16) discussed here

Spain questions Israel over helicopter drone gift to Russia (25/11/16 to 28/11/16)

Turkey drops case against Israeli officers in Gaza flotilla killings (9/12/16 to 10/12/16) discussed here

Egypt delays UN motion on Israel as Trump intervenes (23/12/16)

UN Security Council votes against Israeli settlements (23/12/16 to 29/12/16)

Israel blasts US over UN vote on settlements (23/12/16)

Israeli settlements: UN Security Council calls for an end (23/12/16 to 24/12/16) discussed here together with the additional reports on the same topic.

Israel settlements: Netanyahu rejects ‘shameful’ UN vote (24/12/16)

Israel settlements: Netanyahu orders UN ties review (24/12/16 to 25/12/16)

Israeli PM summons US ambassador amid UN vote row (25/12/16 to 28/12/16)

John Kerry warns Israel over peace deal with Palestinians (28/12/16 to 29/12/16)

Netanyahu: John Kerry blamed Israel for lack of peace (28/12/16 to 29/12/16)

John Kerry warns Israel over peace deal with Palestinians (28/12/16) discussed here

Israel-Palestinians: Netanyahu condemns John Kerry speech (29/12/16 to 30/12/16)

Israel and the Palestinians: Can settlement issue be solved? (29/12/16 to 3/1/17) later revised and date stamp changed, discussed here and here.    

Obama and the Middle East – too little, too late?  (29/12/16 to 7/1/17)

Trump and the Middle East: an impossible disengagement? (30/12/16 to 7/1/17)

Downing Street criticises US comments on Israel (30/12/16 to 2/1/17)

Five issues which shaped the Middle East in 2016 (31/12/16 to 8/1/17)

Four reports related to Palestinian affairs:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas undergoes heart tests (6/10/16 to 8/10/16)

Palestinians face uncertainties over Abbas succession (28/10/16 to 3/11/16) discussed here.   

100 Women 2016: The woman defying Gaza’s biking ‘ban’ (26/11/16 to 29/11/16) discussed here

Hamas accuses Israel of killing its Tunisian drone expert (17/12/16 to 19/12/16) discussed here and here

Of the 28 reports on Israel related stories, eight related to the death and funeral of former president Shimon Peres with seven of those having been carried over from September. The reports can be divided into sub categories including:

a) Shimon Peres:

Shimon Peres: Long legacy of Israel’s elder statesman (28/9/16 to 2/10/16) discussed here

Shimon Peres’s death closes a chapter in Israel’s history (28/9/16 to 3/10/16)

Body of Shimon Peres lies in state (29/9/16 to 1/10/16)

Shimon Peres funeral: Leaders hail legacy of former Israeli leader (30/9/16 to 3/10/16) 

Palestinian and Israeli leaders shake hands at Peres funeral (30/9/16 to 7/10/16)

Shimon Peres was a great man of the world, says Israeli PM (30/9/16 to 3/10/16) 

Obama: Abbas at Peres funeral ‘a reminder of unfinished peace’ (30/9/16 to 3/10/16)

Israel to rename Negev nuclear site after Shimon Peres (9/10 16 to 10/10/16)

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

Israel fires: Dozen suspects arrested on suspicion of arson (25/11/16 to 28/11/16) discussed here

Israel’s Moshe Katsav to be freed on parole (18/12/16 to 19/12/16)

Israel’s Netanyahu denies wrongdoing ahead of investigation (30/12/16 to2/1/17)

c) society:

Israel in food fight over kosher licensing (10/10/16 to 12/10/16)

Israel’s Arab soldiers who fight for the Jewish state (8/11/16 to 14/11/16) discussed here

Lifting the covers on boudoir in the Holy Land (21/11/16 to 22/11/16)

How Judaism’s definition of death can boost organ donations (11/12/16 to 20/12/16)

d) domestic news/politics:

Scuffles break out at Jerusalem’s Western Wall (2/11/16 to 3/11/16)

Quieten calls to prayer in Israel – Netanyahu (13/11/16 to 14/11/16) discussed here

Israeli bills draw Palestinian warning (14/11/16 to 15/11/16) discussed here.

Israel Chief Rabbi Amar condemned for ‘gay death penalty’ comment (18/11/16 to 21/11/16)

Israel fires: Tens of thousands flee as fires hit Haifa (24/11/16 to 25/11/16) discussed here and here

In pictures: Israel wildfires force evacuations in Haifa (24/11/16 to 25/11/16)

Israeli MPs advance bill to legalise West Bank outposts (6/12/16) discussed here

Netanyahu statue: Golden likeness of PM appears in Tel Aviv (6/12/16 to 7/12/16)

Israeli parliament lifts dress code after protest over short skirt ban (15/12/16 to 18/12/16)

Jewish settlers agree to leave Amona site in occupied West Bank (18/12/16 to 21/12/16)

Israel postpones vote on new Jerusalem settlement homes (28/12/16 to 30/12/16)

e) technology:

How Israel builds its hi-tech start-ups (14/10/16 to 15/10/16)

What if your smartphone is out of touch? (23/11/16 to 27/11/16)

Even discounting the reports related to the death of Shimon Peres, Israeli domestic affairs once again received considerably greater coverage than did Palestinian affairs in the fourth quarter of 2016.


Overall throughout the year of 2016, 20.7% of the BBC News website’s reporting on Israel and the Palestinians related to security issues. Israeli internal affairs were the subject of 33.3% of the BBC’s reporting while just 8.3% 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 

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

Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q3 2016 – part one

Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q3 2016 – part two

Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q4 2016 – part one






More from Hadar Sela
Challenged and unchallenged claims in a BBC ‘Hardtalk’ interview – part one
The March 2nd edition of the BBC World News programme ‘Hardtalk‘ aired...
Read More
Leave a comment

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