The BBC’s selective portrayal of ‘Palestinian reactions’ to UNSC vote

As was noted here in an earlier post, while BBC coverage of the UN Security Council’s adoption of resolution 2334 included reactions from “the Palestinian leadership”, none of the numerous reports informed audiences of the fact that the resolution was quickly hailed by the terror organisations Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, with praise later added by Khaled Masha’al

BBC audiences were told that:

“The Palestinian leadership welcomed the UN resolution, which was passed by 14 votes to zero, with one abstention.” (source)

“Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman said the resolution was a “big blow to Israeli policy”. […]

A spokesman for Mr Abbas said: “The Security Council resolution is a big blow to Israeli policy, a unanimous international condemnation of settlements and a strong support for the two-state solution.”

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour said: “The Council’s action, while long overdue, is timely, necessary and important.”” (source)

That second report included video of a statement made by Saeb Erekat, as did the one which followed it, together with repetition of the above statements from “a spokesman for Mr Abbas” and Riyad Mansour.


Mahmoud Abbas and Saeb Erekat are of course senior members of Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority and the PLO, of which Riyad Mansour is a longtime member.

While the BBC was busy promoting Saeb Erekat’s English language messaging that the UNSC resolution marked “a day of peace” to audiences on multiple platforms, Erekat’s own party was once again promoting a decidedly different message to its supporters in Arabic, as PMW documented.


“Three days ago Fatah’s official Facebook page posted a drawing of its map of “Palestine,” which includes all of Israel and painted like the Palestinian flag, being used to stab the word “settlement.” The text above the image: “#Palestine will defeat the settlement ” (Above left)

Yesterday in response to the UN Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal, Fatah republished the identical image but added a pool of blood at the bottom, and the words “Thank You” above the image, and the names of the 14 countries that voted in favor of the UN resolution. (Above right)”

Were the BBC truly committed to fulfilling its public purpose of building “understanding of international issues”, its audiences would of course have been informed of such additional Palestinian reactions to the UNSC vote too.


8 comments on “The BBC’s selective portrayal of ‘Palestinian reactions’ to UNSC vote

  1. Pingback: 12/28 Links Pt2: PM, ministers lay into Kerry’s ‘obsessive, skewed’ speech on conflict; UN to fund blacklist of companies in ‘settlements’ – 24/6 Magazine

    Security Council
    S/RES/46 (1948)
    17 April 1948
    46 (1948). Resolution of 17 April 1948 [S/723]

    The Security Council,

    Considering its resolution 43 (1948) of 1 April 1948 and the conversations held by its President with the representatives of the [Zionist] Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Arab Higher Committee with a view to arranging a truce between Arabs and Jews in Palestine,

    Considering that, as stated in that resolution, it is of the utmost urgency to bring about the immediate cessation of acts of violence in Palestine and to establish conditions of peace and order in that country,

    Considering that the United Kingdom Government, so long as it remains the Mandatory Power, is responsible for the maintenance of peace and order in Palestine and should continue to take all steps necessary to that end; and that, in so doing, it should receive the co-operation and support of the Security Council in particular as well as of all the Members of the United Nations,

    1. Calls upon all persons and organizations in Palestine, and especially upon the Arab Higher Committee and the Jewish Agency, to take immediately, without prejudice to their rights, claims, or positions, and as a contribution to the well-being and permanent interests of Palestine, the following measures:

    (a) Cease all activities of a military or paramilitary nature, as well as acts of violence, terrorism and sabotage;

    (b) Refrain from bringing and from assisting and encouraging the entry into Palestine of armed bands and fighting personnel, groups and individuals, whatever their origin;

    (c) Refrain from importing or acquiring or assisting or encouraging the importation or acquisition of weapons and war materials;

    (d) Refrain, pending further consideration of the future Government of Palestine by the General Assembly, from any political activity which might prejudice the rights, claims, or position of either community;

    (e) Co-operate with the Mandatory authorities for the effective maintenance of law and order and of essential services, particularly those relating to transportation, communications, health, and food and water supplies;

    (f) Refrain from any action which will endanger the safety of the Holy Places in Palestine and from any action which would interfere with access to all shrines and sanctuaries for the purpose of worship by those who have an established right to visit and worship at them;

    2. Requests the United Kingdom Government, for so long as it remains the Mandatory Power, to use its best efforts to bring all those concerned in Palestine to accept the measures set forth under paragraph 1 above and, subject to retaining the freedom of action of its own forces, to supervise the execution of these measures by all those concerned, and to keep the Security Council and the General Assembly currently informed on the situation in Palestine;

  3. Reactions by Security Council states
    • France and Venezuela: Ambassadors from France and Venezuela called the resolution’s passage historic. No Security Council resolution had addressed the issue of Israeli settlements since 1980.
    • New Zealand: Foreign Minister Murray McCully stated that “We have been very open about our view that the [UN Security Council] should be doing more to support the Middle East peace process and the position we adopted today is totally in line with our long established policy on the Palestinian question” and that “the vote today should not come as a surprise to anyone and we look forward to continuing to engage constructively with all parties on this issue”.
    • United States: United States Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States could not “stand in the way of a resolution at the United Nations that makes clear that both sides must act now to preserve the possibility of peace” and said the resolution “rightly condemns violence and incitement and settlement activity.” A White House spokesman said the resolution “expresses the consensus international view on Israeli settlement activity.”
    Reactions by other states
    • Belgium: Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders welcomed the resolution, stating that “Belgium fully shares the position of the international community expressed in this resolution” and that “the settlement policy of the territories occupied by Israel is illegal, and its continuation seriously jeopardizes the possibility of a two-state solution.”
    • Germany: Foreign Minister and Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomed the resolution and said the Israeli settlement of occupied territory is an obstacle to peace and a two-state solution.
    • Norway: Foreign Minister Børge Brende welcomed the resolution and said it must be the basis for a solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He said that “it is important that Israel complies with it, because the settlements are in violation of international law”.
    • Sweden: Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Margot Wallström welcomed the resolution and said it confirms the position of both the EU and Sweden on the continued Israeli settlement of the occupied West Bank

  4. The Stern Gang and Irgun (whose leaders were Shamir and Begin) rejected Partition under UN Resolution 181 (General Assembly Resolution). The UN Resolution 181 stated that Jerusalem as a whole would be within the new Palestinian State and would include Beersheba and Acre. The extreme Zionists rejected the Partition. There are over 150 UN Resolutions and only in December – prior to the latest Security Council Resolution – the UN voted by 170 members in support of the Palestinians with support from Great Britain, France and Germany and Western democracies. The International Court of Justice, EU and UN condemned the monstrous 700 km “wall” as illegal and demanded that part of the wall in and around Jerusalem and deep into the West Bank must be removed. The EU have Settlement Guidelines and Settlement Labelling, plus the EU Parliament recognises Palestine in principle. Indeed Palestine has joined 54 UN Agencies and is recognised as a UN non-member STATE. As Secretary of State Kerry conveyed the populations of the two peoples in the Holy Land is approximately equal (ignoring the Palestine diaspora) and a two-state solution is the only solution.

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