BBC News website framing of Israeli legislation

On the morning of July 19th the BBC News website published a report titled “Jewish nation state: Israel approves controversial bill” which opened by telling BBC audiences that:

“Israel’s parliament has passed into law a controversial bill that defines the country as an exclusively Jewish state.

The “Jewish nation state” bill downgrades Arabic as an official language and says advancing Jewish settlement is a national interest.

It also states that the “whole and united” Jerusalem is its capital.”

The BBC’s report did not provide readers with the text of the bill. Had it done so, BBC audiences would have been able to see that the part referring to language in fact reads as follows:

“The state’s language is Hebrew.

 The Arabic language has a special status in the state; Regulating the use of Arabic in state institutions or by them will be set in law.

 This clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.”

The clause referring to “Jewish Settlement” reads:

“The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.”

Readers of the BBC’s report are told that:

“…some clauses were dropped following objections by Israel’s president and attorney-general, including a clause that would have enshrined in law the creation of Jewish-only communities.”

That dropped clause actually allowed the state to:

“authorize a community composed of people having the same faith and nationality to maintain the exclusive character of that community,”

The BBC did not bother to inform its audiences of the fact that many communities composed of people belonging to religious and ethnic groups such as Bedouin, Druze, Circassians, Christians and Muslims also exist in Israel.

The BBC’s report promotes comment on the story from three sources: members of the ‘Joint List’, the Israeli prime minister and an anti-Zionist foreign funded political NGO.

“Israeli Arab MPs condemned the legislation but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised it as a “defining moment”. […]

Arab MP Ahmed Tibi said the bill’s passing represented the “death of democracy”.

Adalah, an Arab rights non-governmental orgnisation, said the law was an attempt to advance “ethnic superiority by promoting racist policies”.”

With the report providing no comparison between this legislation and similar laws and constitutions in other countries, the view of the story that BBC audiences are intended to take away is of course amply clear.




11 comments on “BBC News website framing of Israeli legislation

  1. When I heard the broadcast this morning, I remember wondering what was left out.

    Thank you for filling in the rest of the facts.

    Yet again, the BBC lies by omission.

  2. Pingback: BBC News website framing of Israeli legislation — BBC Watch – NZ Conservative Coalition

  3. really providing a text of the bill. As if anyone would read that.

    That people of many faiths live together is irrelevant to what was proposed legislation. Clearly if it was not dropped these people would have had to change their living quarters. would not have continued.

    The encouragement of jewish settlements but on whose land which is the most important question which you studiously avoid.

    What occurs in other countries is of no relevance at all.

    • Nobody needs to avoid educating the uneducated, you are convinced there is an occupation but fail to take history into account. Judea and Samaria are not “illegally occupied”. After the Balfour Declaration, the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference and the San Remo Accords of 1920, the League of Nations’ decision to create the Mandate for Palestine recognized the Jewish right to settle and live in Judea & Samaria. That right was protected under article 6.
      ART. 6.
      The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.The terms West bank and occupation only started to be used after the illegal occupation of the area by Jordan in 1949, land which Israel fought and succeeded to regain in 1967. There even the BDS movement is based on a fals premise as there is no illegal occupation

  4. Objections to Jews living in the so-called West Bank are pure unadulterated racism and are evidence that the PA is an apartheid organisation. Kick the BBC out of Israel so as to stop its continuous distortion of Israeli legislation.

  5. Pingback: How BBC radio programmes misled by adding one letter and a plural | BBC Watch

  6. Pingback: Inaccurate BBC WS radio portrayal of Israeli legislation | BBC Watch

  7. Pingback: BBC News website reports a resignation yet to happen | BBC Watch

Comments are closed.