The news according to BICOM

BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre, prides itself on “providing daily, expert news summary” to politicians and journalists in the UK.

But when it comes to an issue as contested as Iran, what BICOM considers news suggests a problematic bias.

On Wednesday, Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz published an interview with IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. The headline was striking, and was soon being reported worldwide.

And here are some examples of how this interview set the news agenda.

The Washington Post

The Daily Telegraph


And so on. But how did BICOM cover this explosive story? To what extent did it feature in their news brieing? Well, apart from being listed as just one headline among others, it was touched upon here - I’ve highlighted it so you don’t miss it.

Yes, the head of the Israeli military’s views on Iran are buried at the bottom of a media summary.

Now contrast this with how BICOM chose to cover remarks of a different nature by Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Friday.


Ben White

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Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. His articles have been widely published in the likes of The Guardian‘s Comment is free, Al Jazeera, Electronic Intifada, New Statesman, and many others. He is the author of ‘Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide’ (2009, Pluto Press) and ‘Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination & Democracy’ (2012, Pluto Press). Ben is a researcher/writer for the Journal of Palestine Studies.