Aron White

Dear BBC – Have Hamas ever done anything wrong?

It is interesting to compare how the BBC describe ISIS and how they describe Hamas.

Their page about ISIS opens with a description of them as a jihadist organisation. They are “brutal rulers” and “a threat to the region,” who have stolen “millions of dollars”.

There are no attempt by the BBC to provide a justification or explanation for ISIS` activities (such as the brutal treatment of Sunnis under Iraq`s Shiite Prime Minister).

Compare this with the BBC page about Hamas. There is not a single unqualified criticism of Hamas in the entire page. Any criticism is immediately explained away, and many of their crimes are almost explicitly justified.

After saying that the U.S. and E.U. sees Hamas as a terrorist organisation, and that Hamas` charter commits it to the destruction of Israel, the BBC say that “it`s (Hamas`) supporters see it as a legitimate movement.”

After saying that “some claim” Hamas is anti-Semitic, the BBC say that Hamas offered a 10 year truce in return for Israeli withdrawal from occupied areas.

In fact, even clear terrorist acts are presented in uncritical terms. In describing the aftermath of the breakdown of Camp David 2000, it says: “Hamas organised clinics and schools which served Palestinians who felt let down by the corrupt and inefficient Palestinian Authority, dominated by the Fatah faction. Many Palestinians cheered the wave of Hamas suicide attacks in the first years of the second intifada. They saw “martyrdom” operations as avenging their own losses and Israel’s settlement building in the West Bank, wanted by Palestinians as part of their own state.”

Rocket fire after the end of operation cast lead is explained as follows –  “But Hamas also did not move to halt the rocket fire altogether, apparently because it was concerned that Palestinians would see it as less committed to fighting Israel than rival militant groups, particularly Islamic Jihad.”

How, and why, can the BBC not have a single criticism for an organisation that has carried out countless suicide bombings, fired 10,000 rockets at Israeli civilians, stores weapons in schools, hospitals and mosques and encourages their citizens to be human shields?

So the question remains for the BBC to answer – Have Hamas ever done anything wrong?

About the Author
Aron White, 22, is currently studying and teaching in Yeshivat HaKotel, whilst studying for a degree in Politics and International Relations through LSE.