SUMMARY OF BBC NEWS WEBSITE PORTRAYAL OF ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS – MAY 2021

Throughout the month of May 2021, one hundred and 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 fourteen 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)

One report carried over from the previous month related to an incident in Iran which the BBC attributed to Israel:

Iran and Israel’s shadow war takes a dangerous turn Frank Gardner (13/4/21 to 1/5/21)

One article promoted a document produced by the NGO ‘Human Rights Watch’:

Israel committing crimes of apartheid and persecution – HRW (27/4/21 to 3/5/21) discussed here

Two items concerned internal Palestinian affairs:

Palestinian election: Leaders face reckoning as rare vote looms Tom Bateman (24/4/21 to 6/5/21 and 12/5/21 to 13/5/21) discussed here

Palestinian elections: Abbas postpones rare polls (30/4/21 to 4/5/21 and 7/5/21 to 10/5/21) discussed here and here

Of 27 items concerning Israeli affairs, eight items concerned the tragedy at Har Meron:

Israel crush: Chaotic scenes as dozens dead at religious festival (30/4/21 to 12/5/21)

Israel crush: ‘People were screaming that they couldn’t breathe’ (30/4/21 to 12/5/21)

Lag B’Omer festival: What is it about? (30/4/21 to 6/5/21)

Israel crush: Netanyahu promises inquiry as first victims are buried (30/4/21 to 1/5/21)

Israel crush: Israel mourns as festival crush victims identified  (1/5/21 to 2/5/21)

Israel crush: Day of mourning after dozens killed at Jewish festival (2/5/21 to 3/5/21)

Israel crush: State watchdog to investigate disaster on Mount Meron (3/5/21 to 7/5/21 and 11/5/21)

Israel crush: ‘Yedidya, to my great sorrow, did not survive’ (3/5/21 to 13/5/21)

One report was about another tragic incident:

Two killed as seats collapse at synagogue in West Bank (16/5/21 to 24/5/21)

One item was about archaeology:

AI unlocks ancient Dead Sea Scrolls mystery (22/4/21 to 3/5/21) discussed here

One report had a historical theme:

Franz Kafka: Manuscripts, drawings and personal letters go online (27/5/21 to 31/5/21)

One filmed report concerned Yom HaShoah:

Holocaust Remembrance Day: Israel stops to remember victims (8/4/21 to 3/5/21)

One report concerned the death of an Israeli national:

Alber Elbaz: Fashion designer dies in Paris aged 59 (26/4/21 to 3/5/21)

One item concerned a legal topic:

Sarah Halimi: Frenchwoman’s sister seeks trial in Israel over killing (23/4/21 to 3/5/21)

One item concerned social issues:

How sex surrogates are helping injured Israeli soldiers Yolande Knell and Phil Marzouk (16/4/21 to 6/5/21)

Seven reports concerned Israeli politics:

Israel: Netanyahu rival Lapid asked to form new government (5/5/21 to 10/5/21)

Israel politics: Lapid nears coalition after Netanyahu fell short (30/5/21)

Ultra-nationalist announces plan to oust Israel’s Netanyahu (30/5/21)

Israel’s right-wing leader Bennett backs deal to oust PM Netanyahu (30/5/21)

Israeli opposition inch closer to deal to oust Netanyahu (30/5/21)

Israel coalition government a threat to security, warns Netanyahu (31/5/21 to 4/6/21)

Israel’s Naftali Bennett, rise of a nationalist set to be PM (31/5/21 to present)

Five items were about incidents that began as internal security issues:

East Jerusalem clashes leave over 100 people injured (27/4/21 to 10/5/21)

Al-Aqsa mosque: Dozens hurt in Jerusalem clashes (8/5/21 to 9/5/21) discussed here

Jerusalem: Many injured on second night of clashes (9/5/21) discussed here

Jerusalem protests: Netanyahu defends Israeli action after clashes with Palestinians (9/5/21 to 12/5/21) discussed here

Jerusalem: Hundreds injured in violent clashes (10/5/21 to 16/5/21) discussed here

Seventy-four reports related to Operation Guardian of the Walls, which began on the evening of May 10th after Hamas fired rockets at Israel’s capital.

Jerusalem violence: Deadly air strikes hit Gaza after rocket attacks (10/5/21) discussed here and here

Jerusalem violence: Deadly Israeli air strikes after Gaza rocket attacks (11/5/21)

Rockets target Tel Aviv after Gaza tower destroyed (11/5/21 to 12/5/21)

Israel-Gaza violence: Gaza tower block collapses in Israeli air strike (11/5/21 to 15/5/21)

Israel-Palestinians: Old grievances fuel new fighting Jeremy Bowen (11/5/21 to 13/5/21) discussed here

Israel-Gaza: Locals scramble for cover, some hiding in wardrobes Yolande Knell and Rushdi Abu Alouf (11/5/21 to 14/5/21)

Israel declares emergency in Lod as unrest spreads (12/5/21)

Israel-Gaza: Fears of war as violence escalates (12/5/21)

Israel-Gaza: Israeli Arabs clash with police in towns across Israel (12/5/21 to 17/5/21)

Lod: Why an Israeli town’s mayor is warning of civil war (12/5/21 to 13/5/21)

Israel-Gaza violence: The strength and limitations of Hamas’ arsenal Jonathan Marcus (12/5/21 to 14/5/21)

What is going on between Israel and the Palestinians? Ros Atkins (13/5/21 to 19/5/21) discussed here

Israel-Gaza: Rockets hit Israel after militants killed (13/5/21)

Israel: Jewish and Arab mobs spread violence (13/5/21 to 15/5/21)

‘We cannot sleep’: Mothers caught in the Israel-Gaza conflict Jack Hunter (14/5/21 to 17/5/21)

Israel-Gaza: Conflict stalls Arab-Israeli rapprochement Frank Gardner (14/5/21 to 18/5/21 and 21/5/21)

Israel intensifies attacks in Gaza as conflict enters fifth day (14/5/21)

Israel-Gaza: Strike collapses building during live BBC report (14/5/21 to 19/5/21)

Israel reinforces Gaza border as conflict rages on (14/5/21)

Israel Gaza violence: Clashes spread to West Bank (14/5/21)

TikTok: How Israeli-Palestinian conflict plays out on social media Toby Luckhurst (15/5/21 to 18/5/21)

Israeli-Palestinian conflict gives Biden foreign policy headache Barbara Plett Usher (15/5/21 to 20/5/21)

Israel-Gaza conflict rages as US envoy visits (15/5/21) discussed here

How Israel’s Iron Dome missile shield works (15/5/21)

Gaza tower containing media offices collapses after Israeli strike (15/5/21 to 21/5/21) discussed here

Israel Gaza conflict: Netanyahu says strikes to ‘continue at full force’ (16/5/21)

Israel-Palestinian conflict: False and misleading claims fact-checked BBC Monitoring (16/5/21)

Israel-Gaza: What the law says about the fighting Guglielmo Verdirame (16/5/21 to 19/5/21)

Israeli PM Netanyahu defends Gaza press building bombing (16/5/21 to 28/5/21)

Israel Gaza conflict: Homes and buildings destroyed in Sderot and Gaza City (16/5/21 to 3/6/21)

Israel-Gaza: Why is the region blurry on Google Maps? BBC Reality Check (17/5/21 to 22/5/21)

Israel launches new strikes on Gaza as calls for ceasefire grow (17/5/21) discussed here and here

Israeli air strikes bombard Gaza Strip (17/5/21 to present) discussed here

‘We have 30-60 seconds to find a shelter’ (17/5/21)

Families are ‘being massacred’ in Gaza (17/5/21)

Israel-Gaza violence: Calls to protect civilians as conflict endures (17/5/21)

Gaza-Israel conflict: Israel defends strategy as death toll mounts Paul Adams (18/5/21 to 20/5/21)

Israel-Gaza violence: Joe Biden calls for ceasefire (18/5/21 to 19/5/21) discussed here

Israel-Gaza: ‘Escalation of violence must stop now’ (18/5/21)

Mark Regev: Israel is looking for sustainable peace (18/5/21)

In pictures: Fear and mourning as Israel-Gaza violence rages on (18/5/21) discussed here

Israel-Gaza: Netanyahu says militants ‘set back by years’ (19/5/21)

Israel-Gaza: The Thai farm workers coming under attack (19/5/21 to present)

Israel-Gaza: Biden tells Netanyahu he wants ‘path to ceasefire’ (19/5/21)

‘We want quiet and to live with our neighbours’ (19/5/21)

MSF: Violence is curbing healthcare access in Gaza (19/5/21)

John Dugard: US not an honest broker in Israel-Gaza conflict (19/5/21) 

Israel-Gaza violence: The children who have died in the conflict Jack Hunter, Alexandra Fouché & Angy Ghannam (19/5/21) discussed here

Israel-Gaza: ‘Confrontation has lasted 100 years’ Husam Zomlot (19/5/21)

‘His death is a catastrophe’: Gaza doctors mourn specialist killed in air strike Lina Shaikhouni (20/5/21 to 22/5/21)

Israel-Gaza: Israel and Hamas ‘close to ceasefire deal’ (20/5/21)

Israel-Palestinian conflict: Life in the Gaza Strip (updates to existing backgrounder) (20/5/21 to 25/5/21)

President Biden confirms Israel-Gaza ceasefire (20/5/21)

‘This is not something anybody could get used to’ (20/5/21)

Gaza Strip resident: Sounds of war replaced birdsong (20/5/21)

Israel-Gaza: The Democrats’ ‘tectonic’ shift on the conflict  Anthony Zurcher (21/5/21 to 22/5/21)

Israel-Gaza ceasefire holds despite Jerusalem clash (21/5/21)

Palestinians and Israelis react to ceasefire (21/5/21 to present)

Israel-Gaza: How children on both sides experienced the conflict (21/5/21 to 30/5/21)

Gaza-Israel conflict in pictures: 11 days of destruction (21/5/21)

Israel-Gaza: The ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas BBC Reality Check (21/5/21)

‘Netanyahu rivals will use ceasefire against him’ (21/5/21)

Israel-Gaza: Further clashes in Jerusalem after ceasefire (21/5/21)

Israel-Gaza violence: The conflict explained Newsbeat (21/5/21)

Palestinians celebrate as ceasefire begins (21/5/21)

Israel-Palestinian conflict: Aid arrives in Gaza as ceasefire holds (22/5/21)

Israel-Palestinian conflict: Eyes on peace options as Gaza truce holds (22/5/21 to 25/5/21)

Israel-Gaza: What Bella Hadid’s stance says about changing conversations Tala Halawa (23/5/21) discussed here

Israel-Gaza: A conflict on pause as both sides claim victory Jeremy Bowen (23/5/21 to 4/6/21)

Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah: The land dispute in the eye of a storm Paul Adams (26/5/21 to present) discussed here

Israel-Gaza conflict: US moves to rebuild relations with Palestinians (26/5/21 to 31/5/21)

Israel-Gaza conflict: UN body to investigate violence (27/5/21 to 1/6/21)

Mohammed Deif: The one-eyed Hamas chief in Israel’s crosshairs Joshua Nevett (31/5/21 to present)

Gaza conflict: Instagram changes algorithm after alleged bias BBC Technology (31/5/21) 

In addition (not included in our count) the BBC News website ran a series of ‘live’ pages on the topic of the conflict which included the following:

https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-middle-east-57099013 16/5/21

https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-middle-east-57141238 17/5/21

https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-middle-east-57154594 18/5/21

https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-middle-east-57168671 19/5/21

https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-middle-east-57183127 20 – 21/5/21

In the ‘updates’ section of the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page, visitors found various reports from other sections of the website (also not included in our count) which were apparently deemed related. Some of those reports were discussed here and here.

Beyond that extensive coverage of the eleven-day long conflict, it is once again evident that BBC audiences see far more coverage of Israeli affairs than they do internal Palestinian affairs, with the two sole reports in that category – both concerning the cancelled Palestinian elections – having been carried over from the previous month.

Related Articles:

SUMMARY OF BBC NEWS WEBSITE PORTRAYAL OF ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS – APRIL 2021

 

 

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