The British government has strongly criticized the BBC for not wanting to describe Hamas members as “terrorists”, instead preferring terms such as “fighters” or “militants”, in its television reports from the Middle East, following the attack in Israel (LIVE ). According to the Defense Minister, Grant Shapps, the editorial line chosen by the public broadcaster “borders on the shameful”.
The BBC’s reply
A back-and-forth therefore broke out with the broadcaster which defended its approach, adopted for some time, of not attributing the definition of terrorist to members of organizations with a political component. The BBC’s veteran foreign correspondent, John Simpson, is even clearer on the matter: “Calling someone a terrorist means you’re taking sides.” But for Shapps the broadcaster must review its “moral compass” as it is not possible in this case to be equidistant from the two parties involved in the conflict. Previously, the Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, and the Culture Minister, Lucy Frazer, had also urged the broadcaster to review its standards, and even the leader of the Labor opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, had asked the BBC to explain why wasn’t using that word. However, the same editorial line is followed by other important Western media.