In a letter to Tim Davie, Director-General of the BBC, seven former culture secretaries warned: ‘The BBC’s commitment is to impartiality, not indifference. This distinction is now in danger of being blurred.
‘Worryingly, the imprecise language of “fighters” and “militants” also serves to conflate terrorists with the Palestinian people, who suffer more than anyone from Hamas’s actions,’ the letter continued.
‘We therefore add our voices to the mounting concerns about the BBC’s language around this terror group. It is time to urgently reassess your approach.’
Hamas, the de facto governing authority of Gaza, has been designated a terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom since March 2001, and the proscription extended in 2021.
In a letter to Tim Davie (pictured at Westminster Abbey on May 5, 2023), Director-General of the BBC, seven former culture secretaries warned: ‘The BBC’s commitment is to impartiality, not indifference. This distinction is now in danger of being blurred.
The BBC has received criticism over the last few days of its designation for the group.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis accused broadcasters of trying to ‘wilfully mislead’ by not using the word terrorist, saying: ‘The murder of babies where they sleep is not the act of a “freedom fighter”.’
UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said the policy is ‘verging on disgraceful’.
However, the BBC yesterday defended its decision not to describe Hamas as ‘terrorists’ amid ongoing coverage of recent attacks in Israel.
A BBC spokesperson said it was a long-standing position for its reporters not to use the term unless attributing it to someone else.
The decision has seen a number of BBC stars rally around their employer, including the corporation’s veteran foreign correspondent John Simpson defended the coverage claiming ‘calling someone a terrorist means you’re taking sides’.
According to the government: ‘Hamas is a militant Islamist movement that was established in 1987, following the first Palestinian intifada.
‘Its ideology is related to that of the Muslim Brotherhood combined with Palestinian nationalism.
‘Its main aims are to liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation, the establishment of an Islamic state under Sharia law and the destruction of Israel.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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