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Media, Media Bias

CBC slams Israel — again

by arthur Weinreb, associate Editor,

July 16, 2004

On July 9, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague ruled that the barrier that Israel is erecting between Israel proper and the territories was against international law and therefore illegal. The lengthy judgment was silent on the suicide bombings and other acts committed by Palestinian terrorists that led Israel to put the barrier up in the first place.

Even the left wing Toronto Star reported the judgment of the international court in a balanced way. The Star was praised by Honest Reporting Canada, an organization that monitors the Canadian media for anti-Israel bias for its July 11 editorial. In that editorial the Star had acknowledged that the government of Israel has the right and the duty to protect its citizens.

Not so the CBC. In an in depth report on its website entitled Israel’s security barrier and Israeli settlements, the network ignored Israel’s position and reiterated all the Palestinian arguments against the barrier. The CBC talks about how the Palestinians are suffering, how some Palestinians have been cut off from family members and how some Palestinian farmers are separated from their land. There was no mention of the suffering of Israelis who were victims of terrorist attacks that came from the West Bank, attacks that the fence was designed to prevent.

The CBC did mention the fact that terrorist attacks originating from the West Bank have decreased by 90 percent since the barrier was first erected, but qualified that statement by saying that that was what Israel "claimed". What the Palestinians said was taken as fact, but the Israeli response was qualified as if to doubt it. Perhaps the bombings have not decreased and the media just never gets around to reporting them any more. Not very likely.

The only reference to Canada in the article was that Canada does not recognize Israel’s control over the land that they obtained in 1967. although the main purpose of this so-called in depth report was to report on the ruling of the ICJ, no mention was made of Canada’s position, undoubtedly because it is contrary to the CBC’s anti-Israel position.

Left out of the in depth report by the people’s network was the fact that Canada abstained from the vote to refer the matter to the ICJ. More importantly, although the CBC happily reported the Canadian government’s position on the territories themselves, no mention was made of Canada’s views about the barrier. Minister of Foreign affairs, Bill Graham has consistently taken the position that the matter of the barrier is a political issue and not a legal one.

The ruling of the International Court of Justice is not binding. But don’t expect the CBC to tell you that.