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February 24, 2016 5:40 am

BBC Refuses to Call Hamas a Terrorist Organization

avatar by Hadar Sela

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The February 16 edition of the BBC World Service radio history program “Witness” — presented by Louise Hidalgo — was titled “The Attempt to Kill Khaled Meshaal,” and its synopsis reads as follows:

In 1997 Israeli secret agents tried to kill a Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, in Jordan. But they botched their assassination attempt and a diplomatic scandal followed. In February 1998 the head of Israel’s secret service, Mossad, was forced to step down after an official inquiry into what went wrong. Hear from Mishka ben David, a former Mossad agent, who played a part in the events in Jordan.

Throughout the nine-minute-long broadcast, listeners heard the head of the Hamas political bureau since 1996 described as:

“…the Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal…”

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“…Hamas’ political leader in Jordan…”

“…this man Khaled Meshaal…”

“…a leader of the Islamic movement Hamas…”

What they did not hear at any point was the use of the word terror to describe either the organization headed by Meshaal or the suicide bombings it carried out against Israeli civilian targets, which are mentioned in this program.

As this example shows, the BBC’s long-running failure to distinguish between the means and ends of Hamas and other terror organizations — and the resulting compromises in accuracy and impartiality — is not only limited to news reports.

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