SUMMARY OF BBC NEWS WEBSITE PORTRAYAL OF ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS – NOVEMBER 2020

Throughout the month of November 2020, twenty-five written or filmed reports relating to Israel and/or the Palestinians appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page, some of which were also published on other pages and four of which were carried over from the previous month.

(dates in brackets indicate the time period during which the item was available on the ‘Middle East’ page)

Five articles (2 of which were carried over from the previous month) related to the normalisation of relations between Israel and Arab nations:

Signs Saudis are edging towards historic Israel peace Frank Gardner (9/10/20 to 4/11/20) discussed here

Why Trump wants Sudan to befriend Israel Alex De Waal (8/10/20 to 1/11/20 and 3/11/20)

Could Israeli-Arab peace deals spark an arms race? Tom Bateman (2/11/20 to 19/11/20)

Saudi Arabia denies crown prince held ‘secret meeting’ with Israeli PM (23/11/20 to 25/11/20)

Egypt singer Mohamed Ramadan faces lawsuit over photo with Israelis (24/11/20 to 26/11/20)

Four reports concerned an assassination in Iran which the BBC chose to link to Israel, not least by means of tagging:

Iran denies al-Qaeda leader was killed in Tehran (14/11/20 to 17/11/20) discussed here

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, assassinated near Tehran (27/11/20 to 28/11/20) discussed here

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh: Iran blames Israel for killing top scientist (28/11/20 to 2/12/20) discussed here

Iran’s Mohsen Fakhrizadeh: Why was he assassinated? Massoumeh Torfeh (28/11/20 to present) discussed here

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh: Iran scientist ‘killed by remote-controlled weapon’ (30/11/20 to present) discussed here

One report related to a security incident on Israel’s north-eastern border:

Israel strikes ‘Iranian military sites’ in Syria after bombs found in Golan (18/11/20 to 22/11/20) discussed here

Five reports concerned a visit to Israel by the US Secretary of State:

BDS Israel boycott group is anti-Semitic, says US (19/11/20 to 23/11/20) discussed here

Pompeo: ‘US regards BDS movement as anti-Semitic’ (19/11/20 to present)

Golan Heights ‘a central part of Israel’, Pompeo says (19/11/20 to present)

Pompeo makes unprecedented visits to Israeli settlement in West Bank and Golan (19/11/20 to 23/11/20)

Trumplomacy: Mike Pompeo eyes history on Israel swansong trip Barbara Plett Usher (20/11/20 to present)

One report carried over from the previous month related to diplomatic affairs:

US alters passport ruling for Jerusalem births (29/10/20 to 2/11/20 ) discussed here

One report concerned an accident to which Israel responded:

Sinai peacekeepers killed in helicopter crash (12/11/20 to 16/11/20)

One item had an archaeological theme:

‘Strong case’ house in crypt was home to Jesus, says archaeologist Jo Couzens (26/11/20 to 27/11/20)

Four reports ostensibly focused on Palestinian issues:

Olive harvest in jeopardy as tensions rise at the West Bank Tom Bateman (16/10/20 to 5/11/20) discussed here

Israel rebuked for ‘biggest demolition of Palestinian homes in years’ (5/11/20 to 11/11/20) discussed here

Saeb Erekat: Key Palestinian negotiator dies of Covid-19 (10/11/20 to 13/11/20) discussed here

Covid: Gaza health system ‘days from being overwhelmed’ (22/11/20 to 24/11/20) discussed here

Of two items relating to internal Israeli affairs, one concerned planning and one can be categorised as belonging to the BBC’s ‘Israelis behaving badly’ genre:

Coronavirus: Israeli medic fired for spitting on Jesus portraits (16/11/20 to 18/11/20)

Israeli plan for new East Jerusalem settler homes criticised (16/11/20 to 18/11/20) discussed here

In summary, 20% of the reports appearing on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page throughout November related to the topic of normalisation agreements between Israel and Arab states and a further 20% to a visit by the US Secretary of State. 16% of the month’s content concerned events in Iran which – despite there being no proof to date of Israeli involvement – were tagged ‘Israel’. Visitors to the BBC News website once again saw no meaningful reporting on internal Palestinian affairs such as social, economic or legal issues and no coverage of Palestinian terrorism.

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SUMMARY OF BBC NEWS WEBSITE PORTRAYAL OF ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS – OCTOBER 2020

 

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