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DATE 2023-10-01

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Key: Value:

Key: Value:

MESSAGE
DATE 2023-10-15
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] more marbles
The BBC's moral cowardice is shocking

Describing Hamas as terrorists is not a subjective act, but legal fact
Simon Heffer
15 October 2023 • 7:00am
Simon Heffer

I admire John Simpson, the BBC’s world affairs editor, for his
expertise and for the courage he has shown reporting from war zones.
For 30 years I have counted him as a friend. However, I simply cannot
agree with the defence he has made of the Corporation’s decision not to
call Hamas “terrorists” or to describe the savagery with which it
butchered babies, elderly women and others as “terrorism”.

Parliament designated Hamas in its entirety as “a proscribed terrorist
organisation” in November 2021. Its members or anyone recruiting for it
in the UK risk up to 14 years in prison. Simpson notes that, in the
Second World War BBC staff were told not to call the Nazis “evil or
wicked”, but could call them “the enemy”. He makes my point for me. The
Nazi regime was the enemy because we had declared war on it,
legitimising the term. Hamas is proscribed in the UK – the country the
BBC serves, and whose citizens fund it. That legitimises calling Hamas
“terrorists”. Otherwise, we might as well debate whether the Pope
should be called “Catholic”.

Simpson says that “we [the BBC] don’t take sides”; but they did when
calling the Nazis “the enemy”. “They” can, equally, describe a legally
proscribed terrorist group as terrorists – and unless the Corporation
has decided to ignore Parliament, “they” should. His “enemy” point
contradicts his assertion that, to call Hamas terrorists, compromises
the “founding principles” of the BBC. These principles are evoked when
it suits the BBC: otherwise they are ignored, violated and flouted.
John Reith’s moral view was such that turning in his grave would be but
the start of his reaction to much the BBC does today.

“Terrorism is a loaded word, which people use about an outfit they
disapprove of morally,” Simpson says. That is a point of view. But
terrorism also has a legal definition, which is why our
democratically-elected parliament designated Hamas as a terrorist
organisation. “It’s simply not the BBC’s job to tell people who to
support and who to condemn – who are the good guys and who are the bad
guys,” he continues. To do so, he says, would be “abandoning our duty
to stay objective”.

Describing a group using a legally defined-term that our legislators
have decided to apply to it does not instruct people whom to support
and whom to condemn: it simply recognises a legal fact that is obvious
to most of the BBC’s audience. It is the difference between nouns and
adjectives. “Evil” and “wicked”, if applied to Hamas, would in the view
of most decent people be accurate descriptions, but if the BBC were to
deploy them it would be editorialising. Using a legally-verified noun
such as “terrorists” is a statement of fact, not a subjective act.

I suspect that getting a man of Simpson’s distinction to defend this
indefensible stance shows a state of moral or intellectual panic at the
BBC. One suspects it has not called Hamas terrorists because it does
not wish to aggrieve that section of opinion that believes Israel gets
all it deserves, however bestial an atrocity it suffers, and that Hamas
is simply responding to chronic provocation.

Such views merit no respect, any more than Mosley’s did in the 1930s.
Would the BBC call it an act of terrorism if Hamas blew up women and
children in a British shopping centre? I hope it never has to confront
that question. If the BBC does not change its approach, any claim it
makes to moral conduct is bogus; and any sane government would recall
its shocking cowardice when considering a further renewal of its char
--
So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998
http://www.mrbrklyn.com

DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software
http://www2.mrbrklyn.com/resources - Unpublished Archive
http://www.coinhangout.com - coins!
http://www.brooklyn-living.com

Being so tracked is for FARM ANIMALS and extermination camps,
but incompatible with living as a free human being. -RI Safir 2013

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