Could everything the media told you about Israel’s ‘eroding democracy’ be wrong?

UK Media Watch

The putative ‘erosion’ of Israel’s democracy is one of those NGO and media-driven narratives that has developed into something akin to conventional wisdom among the state’s critics – despite the dearth of any real empirical evidence attesting to such a political decline.  

Such erroneous predictionsamplified withinboththeIsraeliand Britishfar-left, sometimes go so far as to predict “the end” of Israeli democracy.  Typically, such hyperbolic characterisations are employed in response to ill-advised (proposed) legislation that would never in fact become law – or, at least, end up being significantly watered down, rendering the original concerns practically moot. 

Here are a few examples of such dire predictions by widely read (or at least influential) media outlets.

ftFinancial Times editorial, 2011

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Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q4 2016 – part two

BBC Watch

As noted in part one of this post, between October 1st and December 31st 2016, sixty-nine reports relating to Israel and/or the Palestinians appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page, some of which were cross posted from other sections of the site. 8.7% of those reports covered stories relating to security/terrorism.website

The remaining 91.3% of those articles can be categorised according to a number of categories. (The dates in brackets represent the period of time in which each report was available to visitors to the website’s Middle East page.)

Three reports related to historical subject matter:

Jerusalem reference found on ancient wine ledger (26/10/16 to 27/10/16) discussed here.

Oldest Ten Commandments carving auctioned for $850,000 in US (17/11/16 to 18/11/16)

Israel unveils Bronze Age ‘Thinker’ figurine (23/11/16 to 24/11/16)

Two reports can be categorised as miscellaneous:

Swimmers attempt to cross Dead Sea (15/11/16 to 16/11/16)

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LBC’s James O’Brien fails to challenge Haneen Zoabi’s lies about Israel

UK Media Watch

Over at BBC Watch, our colleague Hadar Sela recently examined the failure of a BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ host to challenge the propaganda of Balad MK Haneen Zoabi – who was in the UK for a series of speaking engagements – during an interview last week. Whilst she was in London, Zoabi was also interviewed by LBC host James O’Brien, who similarly failed to challenge multiple distortions and falsehoods bytheextremistArab Israeli MK

You can hear the full interview here, but here’s a list of the almost entirely unchallenged propaganda by Zoabi.

Zoabi claimed that “84% of Palestinians were expelled” during 1948.  

This is not true. Whilst some of the Palestinians who fled the war “were forced from their homes by the Jewish military”, most left due to “in response to exhortations by Arab military and political leaders” or were “fleeing the heavy fighting that surrounded…

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