Overview of Guardian coverage of Israel: May 28th – June 30th 2012.


It is time once again for our monthly overview of the Guardian’s coverage of Israel; in this case from May 28th to June 30th

During that period, ten items appeared on the ‘Comment is Free’ Israel page and 71 items (including the 10 from CiF) on the Israel page of the Guardian News section. 

Ten of the 71 items are actually exclusively about Gaza: the result of the Harriet Sherwood/Phoebe Greenwood ‘Gazafest’ during the first week of June. One item concerns an industrial park in Jericho, two (letters) are about  the hunger-striking, football-playing member of Islamic Jihad, Mahmoud Sarsak. Two articles concern the PA’s bid to have the Church of the Holy Nativity in Bethlehem recognized by UNESCO.

 Five articles relate to the subject of the Iranian nuclear program, whilst three concern the Obama administration’s involvement with computer viruses said to be aimed at Iranian nuclear plants. One item concerns Mitt Romney’s election campaign.

One item (letters) concerns Syria and one additional article relates to the killing of a Hamas operative in Damascus. Two articles concern the presidential elections in Egypt. 

One over-hyped item concerns a BBC comedy show which featured mistranslated Hebrew. Another is a speculative item about possible corruption in the mining industry which just might involve an Israeli. 

Of the remaining 41 articles, five relate to culture: two about Habima’s performance at the Globe Theatre, one about Madonna’s concert in Tel Aviv, one about the performance of Carmen at Massada and one concerning controversy surrounding a performance of Wagner.

Seven items relate to the subject of African migrants in Israel, two to the Ha’aretz journalist Uri Blau and two others concern the subject of building in Judea & Samaria.

One item relates to the campaign for recognition of the Israeli athletes murdered in Munich at this year’s Olympic Games and one concerns the visit of the Bereaved Families’ Forum to the UK. 

One article relates to the return of the bodies of Palestinian terrorists to the PA and another relates to the Oslo Accords. Three items concern the Iranian involvement in the bombings of Israeli diplomatic targets in Delhi and elsewhere. One article is about Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Israel.

One article is about ‘tensions’ in Acco, one revisits a tragic road accident in which Palestinian children died back in March and one item concerns the UK FCO-commissioned report into the detention of minors involved in terror activities. 

One item concerns an injury sustained by PM Netanyahu whilst playing football. One relates to Alice Walker’s decision to boycott the Hebrew language and two articles argue in favour of boycotts against products produced over the ‘Green Line’. One item (letter) promotes Banksy graffiti on the anti-terrorist fence near Bethlehem. 

One article relates to a picture used by the IDF Spokesman’s office to illustrate Gay Pride Week in Israel, although there was no coverage of the events themselves. Another item is a picture – of a bride in Bnei Brak. 

Two articles relate to the shooting of an Israeli soldier by a terrorist from Gaza on June 1sthere and here

One article concerns the terror attack of June 18th along the Israel-Egypt border in which an Israeli civilian was killed.  Four articles (two of them identical) related to the six days of escalated rocket attacks from Gaza (June 18th – 23rd), during which some 162 missiles were fired at Israeli civilian communities: here, here, here and here.   

What did the Guardian neglect to report during the same period of time?

On June 3rd two rockets from Gaza hit the western Negev and on June 4th another landed near Ashkelon, causing a fire. Also on June 4th an Israeli Border Policeman was stabbed in the head whilst on duty at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron. As usual, the traditional Friday riots in places such as Bil’in and Nebi Salah took place this week too. 

On May 31st, events were held in Istanbul to mark the second anniversary of the Mavi Marmara flotilla. Among the speakers was Guardian favourite Raed Salah who reportedly said: “the Israeli murderers would drown in blood and tears,” and that “terrorist, occupying Israel lost the war against the Gaza Strip in spite of all its modern weapons.” He added that the Mavi Marmara would sail again to liberate Damascus, Homs, Hama and Gaza.

Raed Salah speaks at the ceremony in Istanbul (IHH website, June 3, 2012).

Raed Salah speaks at the ceremony in Istanbul (IHH website, June 3, 2012).

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In the week of June 6th – 12th, one rocket fired from Gaza hit Israeli territory. Weekly rioting went on in Judea & Samaria, as indeed it did throughout the month. 

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Over the weekend of June 16th – 17th, two 122mm Grad rockets were fired from the Sinai, with one landing near Eilat and the other near Mitzpe Ramon. On the morning of June 14th, a sniper located in the Gaza Strip shot at an Israeli farmer working in a field on the Israeli side of the border, who had to be rescued by the IDF.

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During the six day period June 18th – June 23rd, in which 162 rockets from Gaza fell in Israeli towns and villages in the south – and in stark contrast to the ‘Gaza live-blogging’ some 10 days previously – no Guardian correspondent visited the affected areas. This is a continuation of a policy embraced by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Harriet Sherwood throughout the past two years.

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