Reviewing BBC reporting on legal stories involving Israelis and Palestinians

On March 12th the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page published a report headlined “Yehuda Meshi-Zahav: Zaka founder and Israel Prize winner accused of assault”.

While one can debate the relevance of that particular article for the site’s international audiences who will be unfamiliar with the person and the organisation, its appearance highlights a broader pattern in BBC reporting on legal and/or criminal cases.

Since January 2020 visitors to the ‘Middle East’ page have seen twenty-one reports (including the above) relating either to legal cases in Israel or to cases not in Israel but involving Israeli citizens.

January 2020:

Ayia Napa: Foreign Office ‘concerned’ over Briton found guilty over rape claim

Ayia Napa Briton sentenced over false rape claim

Benjamin Netanyahu asks for immunity from prosecution

Israel releases two Syrian prisoners in ‘goodwill gesture’

Jerusalem rabbi arrested for ‘holding women in slavery’

Netanyahu indicted in court on corruption charges after dropping immunity bid

Naama Issachar: US-Israeli woman released from Russian prison

April 2020:

Israeli man charged with spying for Iran

May 2020:

Israeli convicted of West Bank arson attack that killed three Palestinians

Netanyahu trial: Israeli prime minister faces Jerusalem court

Malka Leifer: Rape-accused ex-principal fit for extradition to Australia

July 2020:

Israeli billionaire denies DR Congo laundering claims

Bar Refaeli: Israel convicts model of tax evasion

August 2020:

Israel investigates alleged Eilat gang rape of teenager

Eilat rape allegations: Tel Aviv covers over Peeping Toms beach mural

December 2020:

Malka Leifer: Israel court approves extradition of sex abuse suspect to Australia

January 2021:

Beny Steinmetz: Mining tycoon in Swiss trial over Guinea deal

Malka Leifer: Israel extradites ex-principal accused of child sex abuse in Australia

February 2021:

Israel’s Netanyahu enters plea in court in corruption trial

March 2021:

Congo mining: US reimposes sanctions on Israeli tycoon

In the same period of time visitors to the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page have seen just two reports (both relating to the same story) concerning legal cases in the areas under Palestinian Authority or Hamas control.

December 2020:

Samaa Abdulhadi: Activists call for release of ‘Palestinian techno queen’

March 2021:

Palestinian ‘Techno Queen’ Sama’ Abdulhadi faces court over shrine event

The fact that BBC audiences saw over ten times more coverage of legal matters involving Israelis than those involving Palestinians in the past 15 months once again highlights the BBC’s reluctance to inform its audiences about internal Palestinian affairs.

Related Articles:

REVIEWING BBC NEWS WEBSITE COVERAGE OF PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS IN 2019

REVIEWING BBC NEWS WEBSITE COVERAGE OF PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS IN 2020

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