Just over two and a half years ago the BBC News website published a report with the misleading title “EU court takes Hamas off terrorist organisations list”.
That report was noteworthy for its incomplete portrayal of Hamas’ designation as a terror organisation in countries worldwide, for its promotion of Hamas spin, for its whitewashing of the violent Hamas coup in Gaza in 2007 and for its amplification of the notion that the terror group might be seen as a “legitimate resistance movement”.
In September of last year the website published another article about the same story headlined “EU advised to drop Hamas and Tamil Tigers from terror list“.
That article similarly amplified the Hamas narrative of ‘resistance’, provided incomplete information concerning the countries that proscribe Hamas as a terror organisation and downplayed Hamas’ violent take-over of the Gaza Strip while failing to provide readers with factual information concerning Hamas’ long history of terror attacks against Israeli civilians.
On July 26th the news that the Court of Justice of the European Union had ruled that Hamas should stay on the EU’s list of terrorist organisations was reported on the BBC News website’s Europe and Middle East pages in an article titled “EU top court keeps Hamas on terror blacklist“.
After an explanation of the court’s ruling and the background to the story, the article went on to repeat the themes seen in the previous reports.
“Hamas has always argued it is a resistance movement rather than a terrorist organisation, although under its charter it is committed to Israel’s destruction.”
“It is seen as a terrorist group by the EU, US, Canada and Japan.”
Israel of course also designates Hamas in its entirety. In addition, Australia designates Hamas’ Izz al Din Al Qassam Brigades as a terrorist organisation, as do New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
3) 2007 coup:
“After winning parliamentary elections in 2006, Hamas ousted its Fatah rivals from Gaza the following year and has since fought several conflicts with Israel.”
The report told readers that the ECJ:
“…said its verdict reaffirmed that the EU “may maintain a person or an entity on the list if it concludes that there is an ongoing risk of that person or entity being involved in the terrorist activities which justified their initial listing”.”
However, it once again failed to provide readers with factual information concerning Hamas’ long history of terror attacks against Israeli civilians or its current activities such as digging cross-border attack tunnels and manufacturing missiles – despite their obvious relevance to the article’s subject matter.