Open Letter Signed by Major Media Figures Denounces Canadian News Coverage as Skewed Towards Israel
Over 1,500 people, including major media figures, issued an open letter on Sunday denouncing Canadian media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and demanding a more pro-Palestinian approach.
The open letter condemns a “lack of nuanced Canadian media coverage” and claims without evidence that there have been “forced expulsions” of Palestinians in recent days and “indiscriminate” Israeli air strikes.
The letter also alleges a failure to report on a recent, controversial Human Rights Watch report attacking Israel, and claims that Canadian news reports center “around Israeli politicians and organizations, and representatives of the Israeli government and military; rarely are Palestinian voices ever centered or featured.”
It further asserts that “some groups” claim that Israel’s actions in Gaza “amount to an ethnic cleansing,” and that they should be covered as such.
It then accuses Israel of a series of offenses, and despite its call for nuance, says that issues like “dispossession” and “violence against innocent civilians” are “not complicated.”
The letter is signed by, among others, Andray Domise, an editor at the magazine Maclean’s; Kashmala Fida, a digital associate at the public Canadian Broadcasting Company; Arun Srinivasan, a writer and editor for Yahoo Sports Canada; Aída Chávez, the Washington correspondent for The Nation; Asmaa Malik, an associate professor at the Ryerson School of Journalism; Andrea Bellemare, a producer at CBC Radio; Ishmael N. Daro, digital editor of the left-wing media outlet Democracy Now!; Nadia Abu-Zahra, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa; and some 1,500 others.
The watchdog group HonestReporting Canada responded to the letter, saying, “At its core, a fundamental principle of honest and ethical journalism is to be objective and to be politically neutral. The individuals who signed this anti-Israel letter have demonstrated that they are more interested in engaging in advocacy journalism and in actively taking sides, Palestinian over Israeli, rather than being neutral observers.”
“Any Canadian journalist who signed this letter should never be allowed to report on the Arab-Israeli conflict again in light of their clear anti-Israel bias which is on full display,” the group said.