BBC Under Fire
Lawyers representing the UK's largest Jewish community organization have called on the BBC to investigate complaints regarding their reluctance to label Hamas as terrorists. The Board of Deputies of British Jews has formally requested the BBC's Director-General, Tim Davie, to initiate an inquiry into this matter, following the broadcaster's refusal to review its editorial guidelines.
Adam Rose, a lawyer from Mishcon de Reya, stated, 'There is no room for doubt that, as of November 26, 2021, both factually and legally, Hamas is a terrorist organization. Yet, the BBC insists on referring to them as 'militants' rather than 'terrorists' under the claim of being 'fair and accurate.'
Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies, wrote to the BBC urging Mr. Davie to 'amend the BBC Guidelines to accurately reflect the true nature of Hamas.'
In a letter sent on behalf of the law firm on Thursday, Mr. Rose expressed his concern: 'The failure to refer to Hamas as a terrorist organization on screen, especially during these times, and your refusal to review the Editorial Guidelines, leaves the UK's Jewish Community, represented by our client, in a situation where the country's primary public broadcaster cannot label the organization and its members who are causing terror to their families and friends in Israel as terrorists.'
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Defense Secretary Grant Shapps criticized the BBC on its Today program for not categorizing Hamas as terrorists. Mr. Shapps expressed his frustration with the BBC's lack of interest in 'Hamas terrorists' and emphasized the need to alert people in advance to potential attacks by Israelis targeting Hamas terrorists. He pointed out that the British Parliament has designated them as terrorists.
In response, Mishal Hussein from the BBC defended the broadcaster's reporting on events in Israel, mentioning the victims and the Ofcom code. She argued that the BBC's approach is not unique in this regard.