Israel's ex-PM says BBC is 'lacking moral clarity' in its war coverage

Moment Israel’s ex-PM furiously accuses BBC of ‘lacking moral clarity’ and ‘taking the side of Gazans’ in its Israel-Hamas war coverage – before heated interview with Victoria Derbyshire is abruptly cut off

  • Live feed to Tel Aviv cuts off as ex-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is mid-sentence

Israel’s former Prime Minister furiously accused the BBC of bias and ‘lacking moral clarity’ in its Israel-Hamas war coverage, shortly before his interview feed cut off prematurely.

During the heated exchange, Naftali Bennett told the Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme: ‘I understand the BBC has taken the Gazan side, because all your questions are only about the Gazan civilians…’ 

Host Victoria Derbyshire then interjects ‘that’s not true’ before the politician continues, referencing Israeli families murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7: ‘You haven’t asked one question about those children from the very beginning of this interview, it seems you care very little about them.

‘You only care about one side, that is the BBC way… If you think there is a balance here between two equal sides then you are lacking moral clarity. And BBC, I must say, is lacking moral clarity. What you guys did the past week, shame on you.’

Ms Derbyshire then protests: ‘Before I spoke to you Mr Bennett I spoke to a veteran Palestinian politician and I asked her about the massacre of Israeli civilians in southern Israel.’

The feed to Tel Aviv cuts off while ex-Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is mid-sentence

Moments later, the extremely tense interview is abruptly cut short as Mr Bennett, speaking from Tel Aviv, disappears mid-sentence.

‘Ah apologies, I do apologise. I don’t know why the signal cut out at the end,’ Ms Derbyshire rushes to explain before the camera pans back to the studio.

Mr Bennett’s comments came in response to the broadcaster speculating that an Israeli air strike was behind the explosion at a Gazan hospital which Palestinian authorities say killed hundreds of people.

The BBC later admitted that while at ‘no point’ did their reporter said ‘it was an Israeli air strike’, the report was ‘wrong to speculate’ that Israel may have been at fault for the blast.

The Israeli government slammed the comments and later suggested that they could prevent the BBC from reporting in the country.

A statement on Israel’s X account said: ‘Hey @BBCWorld, as of this morning your modern blood libel about the hospital attack is still up.

‘Ah apologies, I do apologise. I don’t know why the signal cut out at the end,’ Ms Derbyshire rushes to explain

During the heated exchange, Naftali Bennett told the Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme: ‘I understand the BBC has taken the Gazan side’

‘We see you, and now everyone else does too.’ 

Israel has stringently denied responsibility for the explosion, as has Hamas, with officials from across the globe trying to find the cause of the blast that killed hundreds of people. 

READ MORE: BBC’s failure to call Hamas ‘terrorists’ is fuelling anti-Semitism, making the world more dangerous for British Jews and exposes the corporation’s ‘bias’ and ‘deep-rooted prejudice’ towards Israel, ex-boss claims 

It comes as an ex-boss at the corporation suggested that the BBC‘s failure to call Hamas ‘terrorists’ is fueling anti-Semitism and making the world a more dangerous place for British Jews. 

The BBC refers to Hamas as a ‘militant’ group, despite it being proscribed a terrorist organisation in the UK, and described its slaughter of hundreds of innocent civilians as a ‘militant’ attack.

Last night, Danny Cohen, former television executive at the broadcaster, warned that the BBC’s ‘failures’ over reporting had ‘dangerous, real-world consequences’.

Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Cohen said his former employer’s reporting of the horrific explosion at the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City revealed a ‘bias and deep-rooted prejudice’ at the corporation. 

Speaking in the wake of a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the UK, Mr Cohen added: ‘When the BBC gets its reporting this badly wrong it fuels the dangerous poison of anti-Semitism.’

The BBC has faced mounting pressure over its terminology since the war in the Middle East erupted. It said today that it did ‘not agree’ with Mr Cohen’s characterisation adding that its ‘starting point is always impartiality’. 

But the broadcaster has been roundly criticised by protesters and public figures for its refusal to call Hamas terrorists.

The National Jewish Assembly protesting the BBC’s refusal to label Hamas as terrorists last week

Members of the Jewish community gather outside BBC Broadcasting House on Monday, October 16

Among those who has piled pressure on the corporation is Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who said in an exclusive interview with the Mail: ‘I feel the BBC’s reporting is atrocious.

‘The fact that it does not recognise Hamas as a terror organisation requires a complete legal battle and public battle. It’s unbelievable.

‘What other type of torture do they want before they decide it was a terrorist organisation?’

The BBC has been contacted for comment regarding this morning’s interview. 

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