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Former BBC chief correspondent defends agency's refusal to call Hamas a terror group

Sergeant claims the BBC does not have an agenda

Former BBC Chief Political Correspondent John Sergeant on 'The Clash' (Photo: Screenshot)

Former BBC Chief Political Correspondent John Sergeant was recently interviewed on the GB News program 'The Clash' and attempted to defend the news agency's refusal to label Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Show host, Patrick Christys, interviewed Sergeant alongside National Jewish Assembly Chairman Gary Mond in order to address growing complaints against the BBC network, accusing the news outlet of bias in its reporting of Israel.

Christys asked Sergeant directly: “Is the BBC right to not call a terrorist organization terrorists?”

Sergeant responded with the BBC’s standard answer of journalistic ethics and impartiality.

“People, of course, find it difficult to follow this; lots of people do. They think, ‘It’s obvious, you’ve had the U.S. government call them terrorists, we’ve heard all these people [referring to the UK government members] call them terrorists…’ They don’t seem to understand that the BBC operation, the news operation, is not like a government. It’s not to be a government. It’s not meant to have a policy on the Middle East,” Sergeant said.

As Sergeant continued to provide an unclear response, Christys asked: “Do you not think it’s because they slit a baby’s throats?”

“Oh, sure it’s not,” Sergeant said, before agreeing, “that is an atrocity," and added that it is not the BBC’s job to determine who is doing well in the Middle East.

Sergeant claimed the BBC does not have an agenda.

Christys interrupted the former BBC correspondent again, saying, “To some people, it makes it look like they do have an agenda, and that agenda is to support Hamas and Palestine.”  

National Jewish Assembly Chairman Gary Mond accused Sergeant of using “weasel words," and said the British government, including the King of England, had declared Hamas a terror organization.

“Their mission is to murder every Jew in the world,” Mond said, clearly upset at Sergeant. “Okay, they may not succeed in that, but they have made a jolly good start by killing more than 1,000 people in Israel.”

Since the beginning of the war, the BBC’s refusal to call Hamas a terrorist organization has angered many throughout the UK and around the world.

Leading figures from Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, and Defense Secretary Grant Shapps have chastised the news organization for failing to use the appropriate 'terror' label when reporting about Hamas.

Several former BBC workers have allegedly called on the organization to change its policy.

Former BBC journalist Jon Sopel said the BBC’s guidelines are “no longer fit for purpose," while former BBC Director of Television Danny Cohen said, “This is no time for the BBC or any other UK news organization to call terrorism anything but what it is.”

The BBC has come under additional scrutiny after several journalists working for the BBC Arabic channel apparently expressed support for Hamas following the horrific attacks which killed women, children, elderly and even babies.

The BBC announced that it is launching an investigation into the seven journalists that work for BBC Arabic.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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