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BBC Mocked for ‘Outrageous’ Suggestion IDF Should Have Warned Gazans Before Hostage Rescue Mission

bbc-mocked-for-‘outrageous’-suggestion-idf-should-have-warned-gazans-before-hostage-rescue-mission
BBC Mocked for ‘Outrageous’ Suggestion IDF Should Have Warned Gazans Before Hostage Rescue Mission

The BBC is facing significant backlash because one of its reporters suggested to former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Jonathan Conricus that the Israeli military should have warned Palestinians before conducting Saturday’s daring surprise raid that rescued four hostages being held in Gaza for eight months.

During a BBC News interview on Sunday, anchor Helena Humphrey questioned the IDF’s decision not to notify Palestinians before the successful rescue mission. 

In a high-risk joint operation on Saturday, the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Yamam (elite police counter-terrorism unit), and police rescued four hostages simultaneously from two nearby locations in Nuseirat, central Gaza.

“Would there have been a warning to those civilians, for them to get out on time?” the BBC interviewer asked the former head of the IDF International Media Branch.

I was asked at @bbc whether the @idf should have warned Palestinians before launching the rescue operation today. What do you think? pic.twitter.com/9zjh2Gp6Zo

— Jonathan Conricus (@jconricus) June 9, 2024

Conricus, who is currently a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), replied by noting that any warning would have led to terrorists executing the hostages before their being rescued, which would “defeat the purpose” of the mission. He also pointed to the “complicity of Palestinian civilians” in holding Israelis hostage.

Online, the question was met with immediate criticism and mockery.

“That’s a great idea, give the terrorists a heads up to execute the hostages, what could possibly go wrong?” mocked former Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy.

That’s a great idea, give the terrorists a heads up to execute the hostages, what could possibly go wrong? https://t.co/3HtkYM17Yh

— Eylon Levy (@EylonALevy) June 9, 2024

Researcher Dr. Eli David lauded Conricus for “keeping his composure and not bursting in laughter.”

LMAO @BBC journalist asks why Israel didn’t warn Palestinians ahead of the rescue operation 👇

Kudos to @jconricus for keeping his composure and not bursting in laughter 👏 pic.twitter.com/RUJC0Xjsl7

— Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid) June 9, 2024

“These journalists live in a parallel universe,” wrote the Visegrad24 account.

BBC asking @jconricus why Israel didn’t warn Hamas about their raid to free the hostages.

These journalists live in a parallel universe…

Via @DrEliDavid

pic.twitter.com/MDFcBs1rPS

— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) June 9, 2024

Republican New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov highlighted the extreme “standard they’re holding Israel to,” as well as the “level of stupidity from ‘journalists.’”

🙈 BBC journalist wants Israel to warn the “civilians” before they come in and rescue the hostages in a covert operation to get them out. The standard they’re holding
Israel to and the level of stupidity from “journalists”… https://t.co/7xsQp4AYSw

— Councilwoman Inna Vernikov (@InnaVernikov) June 9, 2024

“In one of the most insane interview clips yet (and that’s saying a lot in this war), a BBC reporter asks @jconricus why the IDF didn’t warn Palestinian civilians they were coming to the area for a rescue operations,” wrote philanthropist Adam Milstein.

“Reminder: many of the hostages have been held in homes of civilians paid by Hamas,” he added.

In one of the most insane interview clips yet (and that’s saying a lot in this war), a BBC reporter asks @jconricus why the IDF didn’t warn Palestinian civilians they were coming to the area for a rescue operations.

Reminder: many of the hostages have been held in homes of… pic.twitter.com/qN7fgIfV71

— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) June 9, 2024

“We know that the @bbc sinks low when it comes to Israel, but this is like continuing to dig when you’re already at the bottom of the well,” wrote Israeli diplomat Yaki Lopez. “What next? The U.S. should have given Bin Laden a heads up before raiding his hideout?”

We know that the @bbc sinks low when it comes to Israel, but this is like continuing to dig when you’re already at the bottom of the well.

What next? The U.S. should have given Bin Laden a heads up before raiding his hideout?

Good for @jconricus for maintaining his composure. pic.twitter.com/Nc1wxymiqW

— Yaki Lopez🎗️ (@YakiLopez) June 9, 2024

“Former IDF spokesperson, Jonathan Conricus did well to not burst out laughing at the BBC’s ridiculous line of questioning,” wrote political commentator Chris Rose. “Israel is the only country in the entire world that isn’t allowed to fight terrorists without notifying them well in advance.”

Former IDF spokesperson, Jonathan Conricus did well to not burst out laughing at the BBC’s ridiculous line of questioning.

Israel is the only country in the entire world that isn’t allowed to fight terrorists without notifying them well in advance. pic.twitter.com/XO4oxz66ig

— Chris Rose (@ArchRose90) June 9, 2024

“The @BBC is a despicable propaganda network,” wrote media expert Dan Gainor. “Don’t hold hostages and the @IDF won’t come to rescue them.”

The @BBC is a despicable propaganda network. Don’t hold hostages and the @IDF won’t come to rescue them.

— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) June 9, 2024

“I think @jconricus deserves a medal for keeping his cool (he is though a super professional) in the face of this outrageous and, quite frankly offensive, question from the BBC!” wrote international human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky. “And well answered Jonathan!”

What do I think? I think @jconricus deserves a medal for keeping his cool (he is though a super professional) in the face of this outrageous and, quite frankly offensive, question from the BBC! And well answered Jonathan! https://t.co/Eu1Vvl9jYc

— Arsen Ostrovsky 🎗️ (@Ostrov_A) June 9, 2024

The IDF’s operation, which has been hailed as a significant achievement, successfully rescued four hostages held in Gaza since the October 7 massacre, which saw more than 1,200 people killed and thousands injured in a series of coordinated attacks by Hamas terrorists. 

From the body cam of a Hamas terrorist on October 7.

A little girl hides under a table in her home before being shot to death.

Don’t look away, never forget. pic.twitter.com/sMLVczh5tR

— The Mossad: Satirical, Yet Awesome (@TheMossadIL) December 9, 2023

The majority of the victims were civilians, with dozens of American citizens among them.

Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, continues to hold numerous hostages, complicating Israel’s rescue efforts due to the dangers and complexities of hostages being hidden in civilian areas.

Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank Celebrate on October 7, Hand Out Sweets, Fire Guns in the Air, following Hamas’s Invasion and Massacre in the Gaza Envelope #Palestinians #Hamas #Gaza #Israel pic.twitter.com/hox5P91DkM

— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) October 29, 2023

The discovery of civilians holding hostages has intensified discussions on Palestinian civilian complicity in Hamas actions. Numerous videos and photos from October 7 show Palestinians celebrating the massacre, greeting executioners as heroes, burning Israeli cars, rallying, distributing sweets, firing guns, and participating in violence and looting.

The BBC exchange comes during ongoing criticisms of the British network’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with critics arguing that the broadcaster often demonstrates a bias against Israel and fails to hold Hamas accountable for its actions.

The BBC has also faced accusations of bias over its editorial stances toward Israel, notably refusing to label Hamas as a terrorist organization, instead referring to its members merely as “fighters,” “gunmen,” or “militants.”

In 2021, the media monitoring group Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) accused the BBC — which ranked third on a “Global Antisemitism Top Ten” list, beaten only by Iran and Hamas — of “normalizing Jew-hate” in 26 separate instances during its coverage of Israel’s war with Gaza-based terror groups.

That same year, a BBC “Palestinian specialist” was reported to have pronounced that “Hitler was right” and that Israel was “more Nazi than Hitler.”

Tala Halawa is a “digital journalist” for the @BBC.

Halawa directly influences and creates news content watched by many millions around the world.

In what world can someone like this work for a professional news outlet? pic.twitter.com/r2LIHmZfF2

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) May 23, 2021

In 2022, the BBC apologized for its years-long record of ignoring complaints about anti-Israel bias and antisemitism in its Arab-language department.

Earlier that year, a top British rabbi resigned from the network after 30 years, citing the broadcaster’s incurable antisemitism.

Following the October 7 massacre, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett charged that the BBC lacks “moral clarity” and has demonstrated a clear bias in favor of Gaza.

המראיינת בBBC שאלה אותי 3 פעמים רצוף על האזרחים **העזתים** ושישראל (!) מפרה את חוקי המלחמה.
כך השבתי לה.

אגב, באורח פלאי השידור נקטע באמצע, אחרי הדברים הללו. pic.twitter.com/hufQBVCkVV

— Naftali Bennett נפתלי בנט (@naftalibennett) October 22, 2023

In May, former Director of BBC Television Danny Cohen accused the publicly funded broadcaster of holding an “egregious” anti-Israel bias and failing to uphold its commitment to impartiality in its coverage of the Middle East conflict.

Cohen pointed to statements from regional reporters that the BBC News Arabic service hired as having mimed “the language you would hear from a Hamas spokesman,” adding, “Our licence fees are paying the wages of people who celebrated the rape and slaughter of men, women and children.”

Israeli satire TV program mocks BBC News for its coverage of Israel’s assault on Gaza pic.twitter.com/XYOvWwldXe

— HOT SPOT (@HotSpotHotSpot) October 27, 2023

Israeli comedians have mocked the BBC for its pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel bias in several sketches, one of which featured a satirical interview of Gaza-based Hamas terrorist leader Yahya Sinwar.

Joshua Klein is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jklein@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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