The National Jewish Assembly (NJA) strongly condemns the BBC’s editorial policy, which refuses to describe Hamas militants as “terrorists” despite the organisation’s proscription as such in the UK and its recent heinous acts in Israel. This stance not only undermines journalistic integrity but also shows a troubling lack of sensitivity to the victims of Hamas terrorism.
The NJA is holding a protest in front of the BBC headquarters on Monday 16 October from 6:30-8PM to demand that the BBC corrects its abysmal coverage of the Hamas invasion of Israel, including referring to Hamas as a terrorist organisation. The NJA is hosting this rally in collaboration with UK Lawyers for Israel, Canpaign Against Antisemitism, and the European Jewish Association.
The UK Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps, has aptly characterised the BBC’s policy as “verging on disgraceful.” The NJA wholeheartedly agrees. The BBC’s reluctance to call Hamas what it is—a terrorist organisation responsible for the deaths of countless innocent civilians—raises serious questions about its commitment to impartial reporting.
Veteran BBC foreign correspondent John Simpson’s assertion that “calling someone a terrorist means you’re taking sides” is misguided. It’s not about taking sides; it’s about recognising facts. Hamas’s indiscriminate rocket attacks, kidnappings, and violence against civilians are acts of terror by any definition.
Moreover, Hamas is a proscribed organisation in the UK, a designation that reflects the British government’s recognition of it as a terrorist organisation. As such, the BBC’s refusal to acknowledge this fact raises concerns about the broadcaster’s commitment to ethical journalism.
The NJA echoes Mr. Shapps’s call for the BBC to locate its “moral compass.” Hamas’s actions in Israel have resulted in the deaths of over 1,300 innocent Israeli civilians, including children, seniors, and festival-goers. These are not the actions of “militants” or “gunmen.” They are acts of terrorism that demand an honest and unequivocal response from the media.
The NJA urges the BBC to reassess its stance on this matter and to acknowledge the truth about Hamas. Failing to do so not only misrepresents the nature of the conflict but also disrespects the memory of the victims of Hamas terror.
The NJA will continue to advocate for fair and accurate reporting in the media, as well as the security and well-being of Jewish communities worldwide.