Board of Deputies ‘appalled’ by BBC presenter’s comments during Bennett interview

Image credit: BBC interview with Naftali Bennett

5 July 2023

The Board of Deputies have condemned the comments made by a BBC presenter in an interview with former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

“We are appalled by comments made by a BBC presenter during an interview with former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The comments made, including the charge that ‘Israeli forces are happy to kill children’ when discussing armed terrorists under the age of 18, is simply disgraceful. This is a clear breach of the Corporation’s own Editorial Guidelines, and we will be contacting the Director General personally to protest in the strongest possible terms.”



The full interview:

And a transcript of the relevant section below:

Naftali Bennett (former Israeli PM): “We’ve had over 50 Israelis murdered, in many cases by terrorists that were sent from Jenin camp, armed, trained and sent to murder and kill Israelis in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, across Israel. Jenin has become an epicentre of terror. So we unfortunately had to enter this hornet’s nest of terror and neutralise the terror, otherwise they are going to continue killing us. So in fact all the Palestinians that were killed are terrorists, in this case.”

Anjana Gadgil (BBC Presenter) – “Terrorists, but children. The Israeli forces are happy to kill children.”

Bennett – “You know, it’s quite remarkable that you’d say that. They’re killing us. Now if there’s a 17-year old Palestinian that’s shooting at your family, Anjana, what are you calling him?”

Gadgil – “Under your definition, you’re calling them terrorists. The UN are calling them children.”

Bennett – “No no, I’m actually asking you – what would you call a 17-year old person with a rifle, shooting at your family and murdering your own family. How would you define that person.”

Gadgil – “We’re not talking about that.”

Bennett – “That’s exactly what we’re talking about.”

Gadgil – “The UN has defined them as children and we know that four people between the ages of 16 and 18 have been killed in this targeted attack – let’s not forget this is a targeted attack. The Israeli forces are going in looking for these people.”

Bennett – “But these are terrorists – I’m missing something. You know, a 17-year old terrorist can murder civilians. There’s a fundamental difference between what they’re doing, which is explicitly and deliberately targeting civilians, and what we’re doing, which is targeting terrorists. That’s exactly the opposite. We’re doing the right thing, they’re killing civilians. And the fact that you’re creating this moral equivalence or even worse. I think it’s unacceptable.”

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