Previously we looked at narratives promoted by the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Tom Bateman in a February 16th written report about the Israeli prime minister’s recent trip to Bahrain:
In an audio report for the February 15th edition of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Six O’Clock News’ (from 22:15 here), Bateman was similarly unable to resist shoehorning his well-worn talking point about the Abraham Accords being seen as a ‘betrayal’ of Palestinians into less than a minute of airtime.
Newsreaders: “Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett has called for greater military cooperation between his country and Bahrain to counter Iran’s influence in the Gulf. He’s making the first visit to Bahrain by an Israeli head of government. Our Middle East correspondent Tom Bateman is travelling with him.”
Bateman: “Mr Bennett’s trip to Bahrain follows another Gulf visit to the UAE in December. Both Arab states have signed trade and defence deals with the Israelis. Today’s meetings were officially about fostering the new diplomatic ties. But they are also a sign of the region’s growing realignment. Israel and the Gulf states are signalling an entente against Iran which Mr Bennett called a common threat. But it is a fragile kind of friendship. Bahrain’s Sunni Muslim monarchy rules a majority Shia population, many of whom oppose relations with Israel. There were small protests outside the capital Manama last night. And the warming ties further isolate the Palestinians who see normalisation of relations between Israel and Arab states as a betrayal.”
As we see, nearly eighteen months after the Abraham Accords were signed, the Palestinian rejectionist narrative on that topic is still being promoted to BBC audiences by Bateman at every opportunity, even when the news story being reported has nothing at all to do with Palestinians.
That of course comes as somewhat less of a surprise when one recalls that for years the BBC has disproportionately prioritised the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even referring to it as ‘the Middle East conflict’ despite the existence of dozens of other no less complex and bloody conflicts in the region.