Fiona Bruce shocked after audience member brands IDF ‘terrorists’ live on QT

Fiona Bruce stunned after audience member brands IDF ‘terrorists’

Question Time presenter Fiona Bruce was left stunned after an audience member described the Israeli military as terrorist.

The BBC star was chairing a debate about whether the British Government should call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. The ceasefire, which was set to expire on Monday (November 27), has paused the deadliest fighting between Israel and Palestinians in decades.

Since the programme first aired, Israeli fighter jets have fired on Hamas targets as the week-long truce came to a violent end on Friday (December 1).

Responding to Bruce’s call for a final point from among the Question Time audience in a ceasefire debate, a man asked why politicians always talk about Israel’s right to defend itself, but “never” assert the same for the Palestinians. He said: “Why is our Government standing behind Israel?

“Hamas, I believe, are a terrorist organisation. So is IDF (Israel Defense Forces), but full support is given to them.”

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Bruce then interrupted the questioner, wagging a finger and saying: “You’re calling the Israeli Defence Force (sic) – their national army – you’re calling it a terrorist organisation? There are a lot of people that would take great offence at that.”

The man stood by his claim, insisting the IDF were operating in the same way as Hamas. He said: “If you look at the proportion of the people killed on the seventh (of October when Hamas gunmen attacked Israel), the last 75 years – I do not defend Hamas. I am not part of them. Never have I defended any person killing anybody.”

He continued: “The Palestinian people, they have the right to defend (themselves).” The member of the audience then agreed with Bruce who characterised as a double standard his accusation against British politicians and sections of the media.

Veteran journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neill responded to the question, telling the audience in Doncaster governments can call for a ceasefire all they want, but it wouldn’t make any difference.

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Neil said: “There is no military solution to this and there is no political solution either. The two state scenario is dead. I used to support it – it’s dead.”

Pushed by Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson Layla Moran to outline the alternative, Neil said there isn’t one. He added: “That’s the problem. Not every problem has a solution. Sometimes things have to play out in the most horrific way.”

He explained that the Palestinians in Gaza had elected Hamas, and that the organisation which is proscribed as terrorist in the UK, is re-grouping and “can’t wait” to carry out another October 7-style attack again.

Israel has vowed to resume the war in an effort to end Hamas’ 16-year rule of Gaza, but it is facing mounting international pressure to extend the truce and spare southern Gaza a devastating ground offensive similar to the one that has demolished much of the north.

Roughly 240 hostages were captured by Hamas in its October 7 attack in southern Israel which ignited the war. More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict began, according to the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza. About 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, mostly during the initial incursion by Hamas.

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Neil argued a two state solution would not be possible with Hamas in control of Gaza and a gerontocracy in charge of the West Bank. Minister of State without Portfolio, Esther McVey replied: “We cannot give up hope.”

The Scottish journalist then pointed to gunmen opening fire on people waiting for buses where a main highway from Tel Aviv enters Jerusalem, killing at least three people and wounding several others. Israeli police said the two attackers were killed.

He also pointed to Hamas killing an autistic Israeli girl and another girl with cerebral palsy who had been kept hostage in Gaza. Neil then said: “How you can deal or have a political solution with that when the purpose of Hamas is the destruction of Israel.

“Israel is often its own worst enemy and we’ve seen that… When you’re up against basically a Nazi-type regime that is out to destroy you, because you’re Jewish, that’s why they want to destroy you… How can you deal with people like that?”

Shadow Environment Secretary Steve Reed insisted any problem created by human beings can be fixed by human beings. He added: “We cannot give up hope for the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

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