A Jewish sports reporter for the British Broadcast Corporation (BBC), Noah Abrahams, resigned on October 12. His resignation came after the network chose not to categorize the Palestinian group Hamas as “terrorists” in its coverage of the attacks on Israel. The 22-year-old journalist argued that the station’s decision to not label Hamas in this way was “unjustified.” He also emphasized that words, or the absence of certain words, can contribute to escalating conflicts.
In recent days, there has been significant criticism from social media users and certain political figures in the United Kingdom directed at the BBC. This criticism stems from the BBC’s use of the term “militant group” to describe the terrorist organization. The backlash occurred shortly after Hamas carried out a terrorist attack on the Jewish state on October 7, when the network characterized the actions as a militant attack.
In an interview, Abrahams explained that this circumstance prompted him to resign from his position. He noted that he recognized the gravity of this decision for his career. Abrahams emphasized his commitment to his principles, stressing that no media organization should label these individuals as freedom fighters, firmly standing by his moral beliefs.
The BBC has not issued an official comment regarding the reporter’s departure. Nevertheless, a spokesperson released a statement shedding light on the network’s language policy. The spokesperson emphasized the BBC’s longstanding commitment to the cautious use of language, reserving terms like “terrorist” for those who employ it, including government officials.
The spokesperson also underscored that this approach has been in practice for many years, in line with several other broadcasters. Furthermore, they highlighted the BBC’s role as an “independent broadcaster” that aims to enable its audience to formulate their own opinions.
Up to this point, certain individuals within the UK government have voiced their disapproval of the BBC in connection to this issue. Among them, UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, in a press conference, referred to the network’s language policy as deeply troubling. Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly have also urged the BBC to promptly reconsider this policy.