14 June '16..
For years a dominant and recurrent theme in BBC coverage of Israel has been construction in Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria and certain districts in Jerusalem which is regularly portrayed as an ‘obstacle to peace’.
Just recently BBC World Service audiences have been told by the corporation’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen that:
“….that idea of a two state solution is in great danger […] because of the colonisation of the occupied territories by the Israelis; the fact that settlements have been growing apace.” [source]
“Lots of people these days say that because of the growth of settlements – Israeli settlements on occupied land which is in defiance of international law; it’s illegal – it’s just physically going to be very difficult for the Palestinians to set up an independent state.” [source]
Audiences could therefore be forgiven for assuming that there has been something exceptional about the recent pace of construction in Judea & Samaria and they are obviously being steered towards the view that peace negotiations cannot be conducted if Israelis are building houses in places the BBC thinks they shouldn’t. The trouble with that politically motivated framing is that it conceals a whole host of relevant facts from audience view.
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