For CBC, a dog story is more important than apartheid Israel | United States and Canada


For most Canadian media, the death of an old dog is more interesting than the suffering and death of imprisoned Palestinians.

It is, in particular, the shameful and inevitable indictment of the journalists who populate Canada’s national network, the Société Radio-Canada (SRC).

If you and the CBC are in doubt, remember these facts.

On April 27, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the cautious darling of the Western press, released a 213-page report belatedly finding that Israel had, almost since its inception, ruthlessly and systematically persecuted Palestinians.

The primary motive for Israel’s systemic and ruthless persecution of Palestinians is not to ensure the safety of Israelis. Rather, Israel’s sinister goal is to impose ethnic supremacy in occupied Palestine and crush Palestinians in ghettos with appalling and inhuman efficiency.

The now-familiar scenes of fanatic Israeli thugs – in uniform and in uniform – assaulting Palestinians resisting eviction from their homes in occupied Jerusalem are glaring evidence of Israel’s malicious intent. So too, of course, are the images of the soft, disfigured bodies of infants and children – all victims, once again, of Israel’s brutal bombardment of Gaza.

Israel, HRW concluded, has for generations been guilty of apartheid under international law, not an easy rhetorical allegation.

HRW’s report made a lot of news and sparked a lot of commentary on this page and other major media outlets around the world. But not in Canada. And, most blatantly, not on any of the many publicly funded broadcast and digital platforms of the CBC.

On April 27, no CBC reporter said a word about the HRW report and no time was devoted to it, although the channel received a copy in advance.

Today, May 8, the cute Portuguese water dog of the Obama family, Bo, passed away from cancer. Bo has been described as a “White House Celebrity” in the title attached to a long story about his death published by CBC Online.

So, in the ruthless calculation of CBC reporters, the death of a “celebrity” dog was “news” that demanded urgent attention from Canadians, but the crimes against humanity documented by Israel imposed on the besieged Palestinians – ruthless decade after decade – didn’t even warrant a network mention on April 27 and save for it buried, passing reference, in the days that followed.

The CBC also did not invite a Palestinian-Canadian on any of its news or current affairs broadcasts to discuss the detailed findings and recommendations of the HRW report which caught its attention as they would have provided an informative framework for viewers. Canadians to understand the manifest toll of Israel’s aggression.

As well as being a sorry and indelible stain on its already faded reputation, the CBC’s institutional embargo on the HRW report is in flagrant violation of the public broadcaster’s unique, supposedly sacrosanct mandate to provide Canadians programming that “informs, enlightens and … reflects[s] Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences ”.

Why was the HRW report not covered?

In an attempt to answer this question, I contacted 17 hosts of the CBC’s most popular current affairs and current affairs shows with several email queries explaining their individual and collective failure to “inform, enlighten” and allow Canadians, including dozens of capable and volunteer-Canadian Palestinians, to publicly “reflect” on the HRW report from April 27.

None of those suddenly dumb journalists turned TV and radio figures who ask questions for a living have responded. Not one. Instead, they directed me to a CBC PR manager.

Their sad hypocrisy is clearly displayed and dishonorable.

These Radio-Canada journalists – who regularly extol the virtues of the Fourth Estate and the broadcaster they work for as an indispensable means of holding powerful people and public and private institutions to account – retreat like timid politicians in silence when a frightening member of the fellowship tries to hold them to account.

Like celebrities, these star journalists rely on their PR “people” to speak for them and protect them from the thorny issues.

In a series of emails, CBC spokesperson Chuck Thompson admitted that CBC “had not followed up on any story regarding the April 27 Human Rights Watch report.”

Later, in a hurry, he claimed that “there was no edit (and never would have been on any story) from anyone in CBC News not to cover this story.” Every day, across the service, our programming teams make independent editorial decisions about what to cover in their respective shows ”.

Translation: Yeah that’s right, all those CBC reporters working on all these news and current affairs shows all decided not to cover the HRW story on precisely the same day and they made all these editorial decisions all over the place. alone. But it was by no means an act of collusion. It was just a miraculous coincidence.

It is as absurd as it is shameful and it cannot support several compelling reasons that the gagged and short-sighted CBC journalists and their confederates who demand an apology must finally understand.

The CBC is also owned by Palestinian Canadians. They can no longer be treated not only as invisible, but as “the other” on Canada’s public airwaves.

As such, when a prominent human rights group finds that Palestinians have been methodically humiliated, expelled, imprisoned, tortured, murdered, and had their ancestral homes robbed as a result of Israeli apartheid, then their voices must be heard clearly and repeatedly on the CBC.

In addition, Radio-Canada can no longer be allowed to practice a transparent double standard in its coverage of international human rights “violators”.

Examine some of the incriminating evidence.

On January 14, 2020, CBC released a online story on an HRW report on human rights abuses in China.

Here is the scathing first paragraph in history: “In an annual report, Human Rights Watch issued a scathing criticism of the Chinese government, calling on the international community to tackle ‘the most brutal and widespread oppression China has ever had. known for decades ”.

Three years earlier, CBC had produced a 22-minute documentary who put Russia in his journalistic sights and explained to his audience in a headline: How Canada decided to punish the perpetrators of human rights violations in Russia.

When HRW establishes that Israel is guilty of the massive and unlawful persecution of Palestinians and the practice of apartheid in occupied Palestine, the CBC considers this crime a taboo and has not appealed to Canada and the United States. foreigner for Israel to be punished for its crimes.

By denying Canadian Palestinian writers, scholars and historians a forum to inform, inform, and reflect on HRW’s scathing report, CBC has deliberately prevented Canadians from inspecting the historical context to make sense of the recent outbreak of violence sanctioned by the State throughout occupied Palestine.

Israel’s ongoing and illegal evictions of Palestinians from their homes in occupied Jerusalem, its unilateral crackdown on the Palestinians’ right to assembly, its bloody and sacrilegious attacks on Palestinian worshipers at one of Islam’s holiest sites, its indiscriminate and disproportionate killings of children, women and men in Gaza are not the latest “spasms” of the Israeli-Palestinian “conflict”.

These are, as HRW makes clear, acts of an occupying army whose intention is to strike, club and bomb Palestinians in their territory and existence.

This “progressive” apostle of human rights and rules-based order, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, also prefers to say nothing and do nothing about Israel’s crimes. Lately, he’s been busy giving frictionless interviews to obsequious reporters and self-proclaimed online personalities playing an enjoyable game of T-ball with the ever-effervescent Prime Minister.

As might be expected, Trudeau is never challenged to reconcile his childish and wholehearted support for Israel with, as HRW succinctly and precisely put it, “the reality on the ground.”

When reluctantly forced to tackle ‘the reality on the ground’, Canada’s telegenic poster for hypocrisy clings and gushes in the face of perpetual humiliation, violence and terror inflicted on the Palestinians by Israel in occupied Palestine – yesterday, today and tomorrow. Just days ago, as the Israeli military stood ready, once again, to urge Palestinians to deference and submission, Trudeau declared like a liquidation puppet that “Canada supports the right to ‘Israel to ensure its own security’.

Trudeau’s “policy” towards occupied Palestine – as it is – comes down to this: Palestinians are supposed to take it, take it, take it, take it, take it, take it, take it, take it that long. as Israel wants. Humiliate them, traumatize them, expel them, rob them, imprison them, torture them, mutilate them, shoot them, bomb them, invade them and massacre them.

Canada’s diplomats – who, stripped of all polished embroidery, make Trudeau’s tough and retrograde appeal to the Middle East – “scrutinized” the HRW report for two weeks.

An official from Canada’s Foreign Ministry, Global Affairs Canada, “respectfully refused” my requests for an interview on the brutality of Israeli apartheid and the grim and familiar costs of the uprising taking place in occupied Palestine to resist it.

Much like the CBC’s gallery of unusually taciturn journalists, apparently diplomats in this country have other, more pressing issues on their minds.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Al Jazeera.





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