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

Throughout the month of October 2021, 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 or other BBC platforms and six 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)

Three items, two of which were carried over from the previous month, related to Israel’s relations with other countries or groups:

No new steps to normalise ties with Israel – Sudan FM (27/9/21 to 4/10/21)

Israel foreign minister makes historic visit to Bahrain (30/9/21 to 5/10/21)

The Nigerians who want Israel to accept them as Jews Nduka Orjinmo (18/10/21 to present)

Two reports, one of which first appeared the previous month, concerned security issues:

Five Palestinians killed in Israeli West Bank raid against militants (26/9/21 to 30/9/21 and 2/10/21) discussed here

Middle East: Palestinians and Israelis clash over hillside Yolande Knell (22/10/21 to 25/10/21 and 29/10/21 to present) discussed here

Two items related to regional security issues:

Israel accuses Iran over Cyprus alleged hitman plot (4/10/21 to 6/10/21) discussed here and here

Ron Arad: Mossad agents mount mission for missing airman (5/10/21 to 7/10/21)

One report concerned the anti-Israel BDS campaign:

Irish author Sally Rooney in Israel boycott row (12/10/21 to 16/10/21) discussed here

Three items had a historical theme:

Israel winery: 1,500-year-old Byzantine wine complex found (11/10/21 to 13/10/21)

Diver finds 900-year-old crusader sword off Israel’s coast (19/10/21 to 21/10/21)

Palestinians unveil huge mosaic in West Bank desert castle (29/10/21 to 1/11/21)

One item had an environmental theme:

Israel: Hundreds strip naked by the Dead Sea Tom Bateman, Anastassia Zlatopolskai, Gidi Kleiman (18/10/21 to 20/10/21 and 23/10/21 to 3/11/21) discussed here

Three reports can be categorised as miscellaneous:

Nobel economics prize rewards work on minimum wage (11/10/21 to 13/10/21)

Jerusalem billboards target DR Congo president (28/10/21 to 31/10/21)

Meta: Facebook’s new name ridiculed by Hebrew speakers (29/10/21 to 2/11/21)

Two items concerning internal Palestinian affairs were both carried over from the previous month:

Nizar Banat: The death shaking the Palestinian leadership Yolande Knell (7/9/21 to 17/10/21) discussed here

Why Palestinians are protesting against their own government Anastassia Zlatopolskai (7/9/21 to 1/10/21)

Of eight items relating to Israeli affairs, two concerned legal issues, including a custody case:

Israeli woman jailed three times for refusing to join the army (31/10/21 to 2/11/21 and 4/11/21 to present) discussed here

Eitan Biran: Crash survivor must be returned to Italy, court rules (25/10/21 to 28/10/21)

Three items concerned decisions taken by the government and other authorities:

Israeli cabinet backs huge spending plan for Arab minority (25/10/21 to 28/10/21) discussed here

Israel advances plans for 3,000 new homes in West Bank settlements (27/10/28 to 30/10/21) discussed here

Palestinian groups branded terrorists by Israel say they are being silenced Yolande Knell (29/10/21 to 2/11/21) discussed here

One report carried over from the previous month related to the Corona pandemic:

Covid: What Israel tells us about the way out of the pandemic Rachel Schraer (3/9/21 to 8/9/21 and 14/9/21 to 13/10/21)

One report concerned an accident:

Man falls to death from hot air balloon in Israel (19/10/21 to 22/10/21)

One report was about two Israeli musicians:

Straight-talking rappers tackle Middle East conflict (1/10/21 to 17/10/21)

Audiences saw no new coverage of internal Palestinian affairs throughout October and as usual, coverage of Israeli affairs was more extensive in both amount and range of subject matter. The BBC did however chose to amplify the views of Palestinian rioters in Beita, Palestinian NGOs linked to the PFLP and Palestinians (and others) opposed to Israeli planning permissions in Area C.

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