BBC must stop reporting Hamas propaganda as fact

The JC Leader, 20 October 2023

October 19, 2023 13:23

It is striking how many of those who were so insistent last week that Israel must produce proof that babies were murdered by Hamas terrorists have this week immediately regurgitated as fact Hamas’s claim that Israel was responsible for destroying a hospital in Gaza on Tuesday.

As one commentator pointed out, it took just over a week for the media to take the claims of a terrorist group more seriously than the evidence produced by a democratic, Western ally.

Much the worst offender has been the BBC. It still refuses to call the murderers of babies and Holocaust survivors terrorists, while this very week labelling a shooting in Brussels as a “terror attack”.

9/11, the 7/7 London bombings and the 2015 Bataclan Theatre attack were all described as “terror” incidents by the corporation. Reporters at BBC Arabic allegedly shared comments hailing the October 7 massacre a “morning of hope” and portraying Hamas as freedom fighters; the head of the BBC’s Asian Network retweeted a post calling Israel’s action in Gaza “genocide”.

Even worse was its credulous reporting of Hamas’s propaganda about the hospital — a betrayal of basic journalistic standards, which demand that all such claims are verified before being reported.

The BBC’s initial report stated that, “hundreds of people have been killed in an Israeli strike on a hospital in Gaza, according to Palestinian officials”. The words “Palestinian officials” imply the claim is from a reliable source.

The “officials” are Hamas terrorists. Even after the IDF had denied it, in some reports the BBC was still citing only the Hamas version.

The BBC has an obligation not just to licence-fee payers. It also has an obligation to the truth. That means treating terrorists as terrorists and not instantly repeating their propaganda as fact.

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October 19, 2023 13:23

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