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BBC’s failure to call Hamas ‘terrorists’ is fuelling anti-Semitism, making the world more dangerous for British Jews and exposes the corporation’s ‘bias’ and ‘deep-rooted prejudice’ towards Israel, ex-boss claims


The BBC‘s failure to call Hamas ‘terrorists’ is fueling anti-Semitism and making the world a more dangerous place for British Jews, an ex-boss from the corporation has said. 

The BBC refers to Hamas as a ‘militant’ group, despite it being proscribed a terrorist organisation in the UK, and described its slaughter of hundreds of innocent civilians as a ‘militant’ attack.

Last night, Danny Cohen, former television executive at the broadcaster, warned that the BBC’s ‘failures’ over reporting had ‘dangerous, real-world consequences’.

His comments come days after a BBC correspondent in the Middle East speculated that a bombing of Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City speculated it was most likely caused by an Israeli airstrike, explaining ‘it’s hard to see what else this could be, really’.

Israel has stringently denied responsibility for the explosion, as has Hamas, with officials from across the globe trying to find the cause of the blast that killed hundreds of people. 

While the BBC said at ‘no point’ their reported said ‘it was an Israeli air strike’ he was ‘wrong to speculate’.

Mr Cohen said the reporting of the horrific explosion that shocked the world, revealed a ‘bias and deep-rooted prejudice’ at the corporation.  

A woman in London is seen tearing down posters of children who have been kidnapped by Hamas

A woman in London is seen tearing down posters of children who have been kidnapped by Hamas

A vandal hurled red paint over Beis Chinuch Lebonos Girls' School in Hackney, which police are investigating as a 'hate crime'

A vandal hurled red paint over Beis Chinuch Lebonos Girls’ School in Hackney, which police are investigating as a ‘hate crime’

Drone footage shows the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City following a deadly explosion that killed hundreds

Drone footage shows the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City following a deadly explosion that killed hundreds 

In the immediate aftermath of the blast, correspondent Jon Donnison said it was 'hard to see' what else could have happened at the al-Ahli Hospital other than an 'Israeli air strike'

In the immediate aftermath of the blast, correspondent Jon Donnison said it was ‘hard to see’ what else could have happened at the al-Ahli Hospital other than an ‘Israeli air strike’

Writing in the Telegraph said: ‘Other media organisations picked up their line. Across the world, people believed Israel was responsible for the bombing of a hospital. More anti-Semitic violence and anger followed.’

‘Again and again, the BBC seems to have a problem when it comes to the Jewish State,’ he added. 

Anti-Semitic hate crimes have risen by a huge 1,350 per cent as the crisis in the Middle East unfolded, the Met Police said.

On one occasion, a vandal is seen walking up to Vishnitz Girls’ school in Hackney – a Jewish girls school – throwing red paint over the property.

A vandal, suspected to be a woman, wearing a mask and a hooded coat while carrying an umbrella, can be seen on closed circuit TV footage smearing the school just before 6am. 

Paint was thrown over four parts of the school building, including the front door, before the vandal walked away.

According to the Jewish News, local sources said several girls, upon arrival in the morning, were so upset by what they saw that they ran home.

Another school in the at BCL Girls school in Stamford Hill also saw red paint thrown over the school gates at 11am – when children and teachers were inside. 

In another incident, a different woman was tearing down posters to support Israel , accusing her confronter of not caring about Arab victims, and telling her to ‘go cry’.

The videos have emerged as Pro-Palestinian demonstrators have clashed with Jewish activists showing the faces of Israeli children kidnaped by Hamas on billboard vans.

A young woman, who has not yet been identified, clutching the torn down posters depicting the innocents taken hostage by Hamas terrorists in Israel on October 7

A young woman, who has not yet been identified, clutching the torn down posters depicting the innocents taken hostage by Hamas terrorists in Israel on October 7

Posters with images of kidnapped and missing Israelis on Regents Street

Posters with images of kidnapped and missing Israelis on Regents Street

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) said drivers of the vehicles were stopped by chanting anti-Israel protesters as they made their way through London on Thursday evening.

In the angry exchange the woman told the two men filming her to ‘f*** off’ when they demanded to know why she had ripped down the posters, before launching into a tirade, shouting ‘what’s happening in Palestine?’

The Metropolitan Police told the Mail: ‘We are aware of this video and an investigation is under way. Officers are carrying out enquiries to identify the woman removing the posters. If you can name her, please call 101 quoting CAD 7114/19Oct.’

Speaking up following the incidents, Mr Cohen added: ‘When the BBC gets its reporting this badly wrong it fuels the dangerous poison of anti-Semitism.’

The BBC has faced mounting pressure over its terminology since the war in the Middle East erupted. It said today that it did ‘not agree’ with Mr Cohen’s characterisation adding that its ‘starting point is always impartiality’. 

Lord Wolfson KC, Lord Pannick KC, Lord Grabiner KC and Jeremy Brier KC wrote to Ofcom, accusing the BBC of failing to show impartiality ‘beyond doubt’ by describing Hamas in ‘more sympathetic terms’ as ‘militants’. 

Meanwhile, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis accused broadcasters of trying to ‘wilfully mislead’ by not using the word terrorist.

This is the shocking moment a vandal walks up to a Jewish girls school and hurls paint over the property, in what is being investigated as an anti-Semitic attack

This is the shocking moment a vandal walks up to a Jewish girls school and hurls paint over the property, in what is being investigated as an anti-Semitic attack

Paint was thrown over four parts of the school building, including the front door, before the vandal walked away

Paint was thrown over four parts of the school building, including the front door, before the vandal walked away

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps called on the corporation to ‘get the moral compass out’ and Labour leader Keir Starmer urged the broadcaster to ‘explain’ its reasoning.

Even Israeli President Isaac Herzog piled pressure on the BBC, condemning its ‘atrocious’ refusal to call the group terrorists.

In an exclusive interview with the Mail he said: ‘I feel the BBC’s reporting is atrocious.

‘The fact that it does not recognise Hamas as a terror organisation requires a complete legal battle and public battle. It’s unbelievable.

‘What other type of torture do they want before they decide it was a terrorist organisation?’

Fears that the organisation’s reporting could have a detrimental impact on British Jews comes as 100,000 people took to the streets of the UK in protest in defence of civilians in Gaza and West Bank following Israel’s retaliation strikes.

One shocking video showed Palestinian supporters brazenly tearing downs posters of Israeli children kidnapped by Hamas, with one supporter telling people filming her to f*** off and another ‘go cry’.

Shocking footage has been posted online showing a female Palestinian supporter in London ripping down posters of kidnapped Israeli citizens and claiming there was ‘inaccurate information’ on them about women being raped.

The BBC admitted a controversial report about the cause of the Gaza hospital explosion was flawed as a minister said it was not the corporation's 'finest hour'

The BBC admitted a controversial report about the cause of the Gaza hospital explosion was flawed as a minister said it was not the corporation’s ‘finest hour’

Appalled witnesses filmed the young woman, who has not yet been identified, clutching the torn down posters depicting the innocents taken hostage by Hamas terrorists in Israel on October 7.

A spokesperson for the BBC told the Mail in response to Mr Cohen’s comments: ‘We wouldn’t agree with this characterisation of the BBC. Our starting point is always impartiality, and we take that incredibly seriously. 

‘That’s why we take so much effort to get our coverage of significant and complex world events right. In amongst thousands of hours of news broadcasting, there will always be some errors – and live reporting will always bring with it huge challenges, particularly when it is on the ground in the toughest of circumstances. 

‘Where we do get things wrong, we always hold up our hands – as we did this week when one of our correspondents was wrong to speculate – along with others – about the cause of the Al-Ahli hospital explosion, even if he at no point reported that it was an Israeli strike. 

‘Audiences are coming to the BBC in their millions – looking for information they can trust, expert analysis they can rely on and first-hand, on the ground reporting. We are 100 percent committed to getting that right. The BBC always listens and will continue to have a dialogue with audiences on our reporting and meet with Jewish community representatives and staff.’



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