A British doctor appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship programme FOUR days after it was revealed he urged Palestinians to ‘fight back and die in dignity’ immediately after 7 October.
London-based Dr Ghassan Abu-Sittah promoted a post on 8 October which claimed civilians in Gaza should fight back as they were “going to die anyway”.
It reads: “We know Israel is going to kill us anyways. We are starving, we are being besieged, we are being dispossessed, we are being displaced. We know all of this. Israel is going to kill us anyways. Israel wants us kneeling….So why not fight back and die in dignity?”
Despite this, the BBC saw fit to invite Abu-Sittah on to Radio 4’s Sunday Worship programme last week, where he was a guest alongside Rachel Goldberg, whose son Hersh was badly wounded and taken hostage by Hamas.
Both Abu-Sittah and Goldberg were interviewed by presenter Edward Stourton, who describes them as two people who both have a “huge amount at stake in the way the war develops”.
Stourton introduced Abu Sittah as a ‘professor’ who “has just returned from Gaza where he was operating in the Anglican run al-Ahli hospital.”
During the interview, Abu Sittah claims he was operating as a surgeon whilst the hospital was totally “surrounded”, alluding to IDF troops, and that al-Ahli is the “only functioning hospital in the whole of Gaza city.”
He tells Stourton a recent “missile attack” had damaged the hospital, without clarifying, as has been internationally proven by overwhelming evidence, that the catastrophic explosions at al-Ahli were the result of misfired rockets launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
At no point in the interview are any of Abu Sittah’s claims challenged by the presenter, who asks him how he felt about leaving his patients behind. Sounding as if he is choking back tears, Abu Sittah claims he was “overwhelmed by a sense of betrayal” and Stourton then apologises for “asking questions that appear to distress you”.
Goldberg, interviewed for less time, expresses concern for Palestinians in Gaza. She said: “We are always devastated when innocent civilians are trapped anywhere in a war zone. We feel terrible sadness for the Gazan Palestinians.”
She goes on to express concern for all the international and Israeli civilians still held hostage by terrorists. “I should mention that the only two children who are still left there are two British citizens, two British children, one who is 10 months old and one is four years old along with their mother, Shiri.
“When I hear the professor talk, my heart bleeds. And what I, what I hope and pray is that there was a surgeon like him when my son arrived on October 7th to Gaza with his left arm blown off, which we have a video of.”
In contrast, at no point during his interview does Abu-Sittah express any concern towards those held hostage by Hamas.
Criticising the decision to feature Abu Sittah, The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAAS) said his appearance “follows revelations that he urged Palestinians to “fight and die with dignity” in the wake of Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, as well as footage of him sobbing at the funeral of terrorist group founder Maher Al-Yamani. There also seem to be irregularities in his CV and medical qualifications.”
CAAS continued: “Surely enough incriminating material has been uncovered by now about this doctor to disqualify him from rendering opinions about the Hamas-Israel war? He is alleged to have wept while praising a terrorist leader, called for violence, and more. Is there anything that a so-called expert can say to reveal his abhorrent views and biases before the BBC and other broadcasters stop featuring him in their reports and commentary?”
A spokesperson for BBC Radio 4 refused to comment on the record.
A trauma surgeon, speaking to Jewish News on the condition of anonymity, said: “It transpires that Ghassan Abu-Sittah has never completed a higher surgical training programme in plastic and reconstructive surgery in the UK or indeed any other surgical specialty. He is not listed on the GMC (General Medical Council) specialist register for plastic and reconstructive surgery or any other surgical specialty.
“He has never been appointed to a substantive UK consultant post in plastic and reconstructive surgery or any other specialty. He masquerades as a British consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Any doctor who intentionally misleads patients, and the general public about specialist surgical credentials is certainly not to be trusted.”
The BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship interview is available here
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