L’Chaim: A Booming Wine Scene Adds to Israel’s Tourism Appeal — VinePair

As Israel begins to reopen to tourists and pandemic restrictions ease, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism looks for new ways to market itself to visitors. The nation has long been a religious and historical destination, but rarely is it thought of as a wine destination. That honor goes to places like Tuscany or Bordeaux. Yet,…

L’Chaim: A Booming Wine Scene Adds to Israel’s Tourism Appeal — VinePair


The relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv was timed for the 70th anniversary of the formation of Israel — a move that many Israelis have celebrated but that has enraged Palestinians.

via At Least 37 Palestinians Die in Protests as U.S. Prepares to Open Jerusalem Embassy — NYT > Home Page


COPENHAGEN — The Swedish Academy, which hands out the coveted Nobel Prize in Literature, says an investigation has found “unacceptable behaviour in the form of unwanted intimacy” has taken place within its ranks. The 18-member board has in recent weeks been embroiled in a sex-abuse scandal that the investigation report concluded Friday was “not generally…

via Nobel body: ‘unacceptable behaviour’ not widely known — National Post


BBC News flunks on Palestinian internal affairs yet again

As has been noted here in the past, BBC coverage of internal Palestinian affairs is typically decidedly sparse.

In July 2014 the BBC’s World Editor Andrew Roy told audiences that:

“…the BBC’s one of the few organisations that has permanent offices in Gaza, in Ramallah, in Jerusalem, so we are better placed than many to make sure that we report both sides of the story.”

The BBC’s interpretation of what “the story” is about is however very limited and its coverage focuses overwhelmingly on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Although the conflict is clearly just one story among many in the region, only very occasionally do audiences see stand-alone reports about Palestinian affairs which are not framed within that context and do not have an Israel-related component.

Insight into internal Palestinian politics which would enhance audiences’ comprehension of Palestinian society (as well as the conflict) is relatively rare in BBC coverage. Reporting on social and human rights issues within Palestinian society is even more scarce and thus BBC audiences see a blinkered and largely one-dimensional view of Palestinian life.

Throughout the whole of 2017 (see ‘related articles’ below) the BBC News website published a total of twenty-eight articles relating to Palestinian affairs. In contrast, Israeli affairs were the topic of eighty-two BBC reports.

Six of the 28 reports related to the topic of the chronic electricity shortages in the Gaza Strip:

Gaza electricity crisis: Hamas breaks up protest discussed here

Angry protests in Gaza over crippling power shortages Rushdi Abu Alouf, discussed here

Gaza power cuts: Man shares his tricks discussed here

Palestinian Authority ‘stops paying Israel for Gaza electricity’ discussed here

Gaza residents left in the dark amid Palestinian power struggle Yolande Knell, discussed here

Gaza’s only power plant resumes after Egypt fuel delivery

Four of the reports related to Hamas’ leadership and policy document:

Hamas hardliner Yehiya Sinwar elected as Gaza leader discussed here

New Hamas policy document ‘aims to soften image’ discussed here

How much of a shift is the new Hamas policy document? Yolande Knell, discussed here

Hamas chooses Ismail Haniya as new leader discussed here

Two articles reported on executions carried out by Hamas:

Hamas executes three ‘Israel collaborators’ in Gaza

Gaza Palestinians: Hamas kills three ‘collaborators’

One reported related to the economic situation in the Gaza Strip:

Qatar Gulf row threatens cash crisis for Gaza Yolande Knell, discussed here

Three reports related to social stories from the Gaza Strip:

Gaza conjoined twins ‘need life-saving treatment abroad’ discussed here

Gaza amputees explain their unique friendship discussed here

Gaza commemorates Yasser Arafat anniversary

Three reports related to Palestinian Authority/US relations:

Trump Middle East: Palestinian leader invited to White House discussed here

Palestinians ‘could freeze US ties’ over Washington office closure

Palestinians recall envoy to US  discussed here

One report related to PA censorship:

Palestinian Authority ‘detains rights activist over criticism’ discussed here

Six reports related to the Hamas-Fatah unity deal which did not transpire:

Hamas says it is ready to hold first elections since 2006 discussed here

Palestinian PM in rare Gaza visit as rift with Hamas eases discussed here

Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah end split on Gaza discussed here

Palestinian unity deal: Gazans hope for end to feud Yolande Knell

Hamas must disarm to join Palestinian unity government – US discussed here

Hamas hands PA control of Gaza border crossings discussed here

Two reports related to travel/tourism:

The ancient path through Palestine BBC Travel

The Palestinian dessert few can enjoy BBC Travel, discussed here

On February 19th 2018 what appeared at first glance to be a rare report on a Palestinian social issue appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the headline “Gaza women’s TV channel blocked by Hamas” and an Arabic language version of the report was posted on the BBC Arabic website.

“Authorities in Gaza have blocked the launch of a women’s television channel there, just before it was due to go on air.

Officials from the Palestinian militant Islamist group Hamas, which dominates the territory, said Taif TV had not obtained the necessary licences.

However the channel said it had met all the legal requirements.”

The vast majority of the article’s word-count (78%) was devoted to quoting claims and counter-claims regarding the TV channel’s licence.

Notably – in contrast, for example, to the Times of Israel report on the same story – the BBC’s article did not inform readers of angry reactions to the Hamas decision from members of the Palestinian public.

Although the BBC chose to raise the subject of women’s rights in the Gaza Strip in this report, it devoted remarkably little of its word-count to that topic.

“Civil liberties groups have long criticised Hamas for what they say is a poor record on women’s rights in Gaza.” […]

Hamas has long been accused of discriminating against women since it reinforced its hold on power in Gaza after ousting its secular Fatah rivals in 2007.”

That link leads to a report by Freedom House in which just one of the thirty-nine paragraphs gives a very brief and generalised portrayal of the situation of women in the Gaza Strip.

In other words, once again the BBC has failed to make the most of an opportunity to provide audiences with meaningful insight into social issues within Palestinian society.

Related Articles:

Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q1 2017 – part two

Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q2 2017 – part two

Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q3 2017 – part two

Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q4 2017 – part two

Reviewing BBC News coverage of internal Palestinian affairs


via BBC News flunks on Palestinian internal affairs yet again

A Gaza medical story that is not newsworthy for the BBC

via A Gaza medical story that is not newsworthy for the BBC   


A Gaza medical story that is not newsworthy for the BBC

Between mid-September and the beginning of November 2017 the BBC produced numerous reports on the topic of a Hamas-Fatah ‘reconciliation’ which was supposed to put the Palestinian Authority back in charge of the Gaza Strip ten years after the Hamas coup.


An arson attack on a French kosher grocery store revived fears over antisemitism on Tuesday, three years to the day since an assault on a Jewish supermarket by an Islamist gunman. The store in the southern Paris suburb of Creteil caught fire overnight, days after it was daubed with anti-Semitic graffiti. The damage is […]


Muslim leaders declare East Jerusalem capital of “Palestine” — Behold Israel

OIC meets in Turkey on Jerusalem, USA and Trump; Summit collectively denounces Jerusalem’s recognition and calls on international community to recognize East Jerusalem as capital of “Palestine”; Netanyahu: All these statements fail to impress us. Dec 14, 2017. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation met in Instanbul on Wednesday, heads of state and representatives from Muslim […]

via Muslim leaders declare East Jerusalem capital of “Palestine” — Behold Israel

bdh”e While you were sleeping: Mass shooting in Las Vegas, chaos in Spain — Montreal Gazette

Dozens are dead and hundreds wounded in a Las Vegas shooting A gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of a casino late Sunday in Nevada. Hundreds ran for cover as the shots rained down into a crowd of concertgoers gathered for the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Police entered the hotel casino, confronted the suspect…

via While you were sleeping: Mass shooting in Las Vegas, chaos in Spain — Montreal Gazette

Peel police searching for 81-year-old man who went missing from Pearson airport —

Police said Abe Hussein arrived at the airport Tuesday from Montreal around 4:50 p.m., and was last seen by video surveillance at 7:15 p.m., getting on a GO bus travelling to Yorkdale.

via Peel police searching for 81-year-old man who went missing from Pearson airport —