BBC Travel Show inaccurate on Jaffa demography

The BBC Travel Show inaccurately portrays the demographics of Jaffa.

A filmed report which appeared in the ‘features’ section of the BBC News website’s Middle East page on May 19th under the title “The deafblind actors of Jaffa” is about the Na Laga’at theatre company.

“A theatre company made up of deafblind actors is pulling in the crowds in Israel.

Every performer in the Nalaga’at theatre company, which means “Please Touch” in Hebrew, has Usher syndrome so they are both deaf and visually impaired.

The performances are told through speech and sign language and cues are given to the actors by a drumbeat so they can feel the vibrations.

The BBC Travel Show’s Rajan Datar went behind the scenes at the theatre in Jaffa to find out more.”

In addition to the fact that the presenter repeatedly mispronounces the theatre company’s name, the report opens by telling BBC audiences that:

“Jaffa is one of the world’s oldest sea ports. The majority of the locals are Arab, but these days, especially on its revamped water front, it’s becoming a gentrified haven for international tourists and day-trippers from neighbouring Tel Aviv.”

Jaffa – or Yaffo – lies in the Tel Aviv-Yaffo municipality where it is classed as district 7. Data found on the municipality’s website shows that in 2014 Jaffa had a population of 47,580 – 71% of whom were Jews and others and 29% of whom were Arabs.

There is no evidence to indicate that since 2014 the Arab population of Jaffa has become “the majority” as the BBC Travel Show claims.

 

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