Britain’s BBC has taken flak for refusing to call Hamas’s fighters “terrorists.” The network’s management has stood fast on this point, arguing that to stigmatize Hamas as terrorists would constitute taking sides in the conflict, and the BBC is staunchly neutral.
But that mildly pro-Hamas stance is nowhere near enough for many of the BBC’s employees. The Times of London offers a frightening glimpse into the mentality of many young journalists. And, while these are Brits, the situation is no better in the U.S.:
The BBC has been accused by its journalists of being too lenient on Israel and “dehumanising” Palestinian civilians, allegedly leaving staff crying in lavatories and taking time off work.
Journalists crying in lavatories and unable to show up for work because they are so distressed over the negative image suffered by those who commit mass murder, gang rape and kidnapping.
Concerns were raised with senior editorial figures in a meeting this week. An email setting out fears that the BBC was “treating Israeli lives as more worthy than Palestinian lives” was sent to Tim Davie, the director-general.
That raises a good question: is the life of a murder victim more “worthy” than the life of the murderer who decapitates babies or burns them alive? What do you think?
In the email to Davie, which was widely shared with BBC News international staff, he said: “Words like ‘massacre’, ‘slaughter’ and ‘atrocities’ are being used prominently in reference to actions by Hamas, but hardly, if at all, in reference to actions by Israel. Does this not raise the question of the possible complicity of the BBC in incitement, dehumanisation and war propaganda?”
A sane person would say that words like “massacre,” “slaughter” and “atrocities” are being used because they accurately describe what the Gazans have done. If you wanted to accurately describe what the Israelis have done, you might use terms like “righteous retribution.” But of course the BBC isn’t doing that.
I think that as a group, journalists must have less moral sense than the members of any other occupation.