King Charles last night condemned the ‘barbaric acts of terror’ committed against Israel.
The monarch was supported by the Prince and Princess of Wales, who said they were “deeply saddened” by the unfolding civilian carnage, adding: “The horrors inflicted by Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel are appalling.”
William and Kate went even further, emphasizing the country’s “right to self-defense.” The royal family’s deliberate use of the word “terrorism” to describe the atrocities was in stark contrast to the BBC, which refuses to call Hamas a “terrorist” organization.
It refers to Hamas as a “militant” group and describes the massacre of civilians as a “militant” attack.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis accused broadcasters of “deliberately misleading” by not using the word terrorist. He said: “The murder of babies where they sleep is not the act of a ‘freedom fighter’.”
The king last night unequivocally condemned the “barbaric acts of terror” committed against Israel.
William and Kate were described as “deeply saddened” by the “devastating” events. The senior royals offered their thoughts and prayers to all those suffering, while the king did so personally in a phone call with President Isaac Herzog on Wednesday afternoon.
The royal intervention was the latest show of support for Israel from Britain and came as Hamas launched a new wave of rocket attacks, destroying a children’s hospital and a supermarket.
Gaza was on the verge of being plunged into darkness last night after its power plant ran out of fuel due to the Israeli ‘siege’ and continued airstrikes in retaliation for Saturday’s attacks, which killed more than 1,200 Israelis in incomprehensible atrocities.
A series of high-profile figures, including Defense Secretary Grant Shapps and Labor leader Keir Starmer, yesterday piled pressure on the BBC over its approach to covering the killing of Israeli civilians. Mr Shapps told LBC it was “bordering on disgraceful” and added: “It’s time to reveal the moral compass at the BBC.”
According to the BBC’s editorial guidelines, terrorism is an ’emotional subject with important political overtones’ and ‘terrorist’ can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding.
Yesterday, the king spoke with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and King Abdullah of Jordan, whose country shares a border with the West Bank and who has sought to promote dialogue in the region.
It is understood the monarch – acting on advice from the government – expressed his deep concern about the situation in the Middle East, as well as his thoughts and prayers for ‘all those who are suffering’.
Charles has worked throughout his life to promote interfaith dialogue, both nationally and globally. An aide said he would “continue to look for ways to do this in such deeply painful times.”
A spokesperson for William and Kate said: ‘The Prince and Princess of Wales are deeply saddened by the devastating events that have occurred in recent days. The horrors that Hamas’s terrorist attack has caused on Israel are terrible; they condemn them utterly.
“As Israel exercises its right to self-defense, all Israelis and Palestinians will be haunted by grief, fear and anger for the foreseeable future.”
In 2018, William became the first royal to make an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories in 70 years, meeting the presidents of both countries and telling them: “Never have hope and reconciliation been more needed.” Despite the growing backlash, it is clear that the BBC has no plans to review or change its guidelines on the use of the words ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist’.
Veteran BBC foreign correspondent John Simpson defended the reporting, claiming that ‘calling someone a terrorist means taking sides’
Last night, Mr Simpson took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to defend his employer’s decision
And last night it rejected criticism of its decision, despite Hamas being listed as a proscribed organisation, meaning the British government considers it a terrorist group.
BBC director of editorial policy David Jordan said not using the word terrorist was a “very long-standing policy” that had “stood the test of time”. He added: “We have called them massacres, we have called them murders, we have called them out for what things are and that in no way detracts from the terribleness of what is going on.”
Nick Robinson, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, said on social media: ‘I completely understand why some people want the word ‘terrorism’ to be used. However, it is the long-standing practice of BBC, ITV and Sky to report that others are using that language rather than using it themselves.’
Culture Minister Lucy Frazer has raised the issue with BBC Director General Tim Davie and made clear her position that these are ‘acts of terror carried out by a terrorist organisation’.
The Council of Deputies of British Jews said that by calling Hamas “militants”, the BBC “not only provides legitimacy to their government, but also denies the fact that they are committing atrocities.”
Former BBC journalist Jon Sopel said the corporation’s editorial guidelines were ‘no longer fit for purpose’.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak slammed the BBC for refusing to call out Hamas terrorists before visiting the Finchley United Synagogue in central London on Monday for victims and hostages of Hamas attacks
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer urged the broadcaster to “explain” why it calls Hamas, which was classified as a terrorist group in Britain in 2021, a militant group.