BBC slammed for referring to Hamas as ‘fighters’ as opposed to ‘terrorists’
LONDON: The BBC has been criticized for describing Hamas personnel as “fighters” as opposed to terrorists in its coverage of the attacks on Israel on Saturday morning, the Telegraph reported.
The British broadcaster wrote that “militants” had launched a surprise attack on Israel, which led to hundreds of deaths and left thousands more injured, when referring to Hamas.
Saudi Arabia, the UK, the US have designated Hamas a terrorist organization.
“They are breaking into civilian homes and murdering children. It is beyond belief that the one place you look for balance, the BBC, is not delivering coverage that is fair, balanced or reasonable,” Lord Eric Pickles, the UK special envoy for post-holocaust issues, said.
“This is not an isolated incident. They need to get their act together.”
Stephen Pollard, the Jewish Chronicle’s editor-at-large, called the refusal by the BBC to label Hamas fighters as “terrorists” was “more than merely annoying”.
He said: “It is a reflection of a deeper malaise that affects much of our broadcast media: the idea that there are always two sides to every story.
“We hear a lot about BBC (and other broadcasters’) bias against Israel. That’s the wrong way of looking at it, however. They don’t set out to frame reports to condemn Israel.
“The problem is worse than that. Because they cannot see that there can be one side to a description — that calling a terrorist a terrorist is more accurate than calling him a militant — then they cannot see the problem with, as happened today, providing a platform to an apologist for terror to explain why it is justified.”
The attacks, launched by Hamas in the early hours of Saturday morning, were the deadliest attack on Israel since the Yom Kippur War 50 years ago, when Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack.
Israeli TV reports have put the Israeli death toll from the attack at between 500-600, with more than 2,000 wounded.