A Jewish BBC sports reporter has resigned because his bosses refuse to label Hamas as terrorists.
Noah Abrahams, who is 22 and worked on BBC Radio Derby, said the choice to not characterize Hamas’s activities as terrorism was ‘unjustified’, adding that words have the power ‘to fuel hate and put fuel on the fire’.
The BBC refers to Hamas as a ‘militant’ group and described the slaughter of civilians as a ‘militant’ attack.
Explaining his decision to quit, Mr Abrahams told TalkTV: ‘I have morals and I stick by them. I think the BBC’s refusal to use the correct terminology is unjustified.
‘Words impact how we think, how we react, how we act. They have influence. [Hamas] aren’t freedom fighters or, as John Simpson refers to them, gunmen. They’re terrorists.
‘There are probably people watching who think I’ve thrown it all away for some words, but words – when neglected – have the power to fuel hate and put fuel on the fire.’
Mr Abrahams said he realised he had made a ‘monumental career life decision’ but felt he needed to make a stand because of the threats currently facing British Jews.
‘Jewish schoolchildren can’t go to school feeling safe and synagogues have security so heightened that it strikes fear to you,’ he said.
‘We’re taking off our jewellery and necklaces. People will avoid London tomorrow because of the threat.
‘That is fear. And anything that happens in Israel – like it or not – has a direct affect on the British community.
‘British Jews are terrified, and so am I, and I don’t feel like I can stand by the BBC any longer with their stance on terminology.’
He added: ‘Jews are terrified, as am I. And I’ve just made a really monumental career and life decision. So as with everyone I’m going through a hard time at the moment.’
A BBC spokesperson said: ‘We always take our use of language very seriously.
‘Anyone watching or listening to our coverage will hear the word ”terrorist” used many times – we attribute it to those who are using it, for example, the UK Government.
‘This is an approach that has been used for decades, and is in line with that of other broadcasters.
‘The BBC is an editorially independent broadcaster whose job is to explain precisely what is happening ”on the ground” so our audiences can make their own judgement.’