Why I had to quit the BBC over its failure to call Hamas 'terrorists'

Sports journalist Noah Abrahams, 22, has been praised for taking a stand against the broadcaster after walking away from his dream job


A young journalist who announced he had quit the BBC over its refusal to label Hamas operatives "terrorists" has spoken about his decision to walk away from his dream job, arguing that the broadcaster's position was indefensible.

Sports journalist Noah Abrahams said he was “so angry” with the BBC for “not fairly representing” the situation in Israel that he could no longer stay in the role.

Abrahams, 22, was working as a freelance football reporter and commentator at Radio Derby before making what he said was “a very difficult decision” to give up his “life’s work and aspirations”.

Speaking to the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), Abrahams said: “You get that gig and you’re loving life, you can’t believe your luck,” Abrahams said.

Despite the privileged role, he said, he could “no longer stand with the BBC’s stance with the terminology they use on Israel".

"I don’t agree with it. I don’t understand how they can defend it,” said Abrahams, adding that he did not want his departure to become "the story".

He went on: “The story is the atrocities happening in Israel. The stories are the hostages who are being held, the families who have been victimised, who are becoming victims.

“This shouldn’t be the story, but the BBC have made it into one, and I was seething when I made my decision. I was so angry that I felt like I could no longer continue to represent an organisation that I feel does not fairly represent the situation.”

The CAA has written to the BBC about its refusal to label Hamas “terrorists”, instead using the term "militants" and called for communications regulator Ofcom to intervene.”

It has also requested that the Culture, Media and Sport Committee hold an urgent hearing about the matter and has helped to organise a rally outside the Broadcasting House in London, which is taking place this evening.

A spokesperson for the CAA said: “Images and videos of the unspeakably brutal attacks on Israeli civilians, including babies, children and the elderly have been shared around the world.

"The BBC cannot be the trusted public broadcaster that we need if it is unable to call the murder of hundreds of innocent Jewish people by an antisemitic genocidal terror organisation ‘terrorism’.

"Calling this by any other name is unfathomable and only fuels anti-Jewish extremists and apologists for terrorism. Noah Abrahams has risked his dream career to send a message to the BBC. The broadcaster should heed it.”

The BBC declined to comment.

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