Home Corrections, Clarifications & RetractionsBy Subject Canada-Israel Relations

Canada-Israel Relations

by Mike Fegelman
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April 28, 2020: CBC Ombud: Reporter Should’ve Qualified Statement Linking Canada’s Support of Israel to Failed Bid For Security Council Seat

May 23, 2018: HRC Prompts Globe Correction: PM Trudeau Didn’t Claim IDF “Targeted” Wounded Cdn. Doctor

May 16, 2018: Clarifications: This story has been updated from a previous version which stated that Dr. Tarek Loubani was shot by the Israel Defence Forces. In fact, the Canadian government is trying to determine how he was injured and is “engaging with Israeli officials to get to the bottom of these events.”

July 7, 2015: Globe and Mail: After an HRC complaint, the Globe And Mail Amended A Gerald Caplan column which falsely claimed that Prime Minister Harper believes that “all criticism of Israeli policies is “the new anti-Semitism”.

Globe and Mail: January 20, 2014: HRC secured a correction in the Globe and Mail after a commentator falsely asserted that polls indicate that “57 % of Canadians oppose Harper’s handling of the Mideast file.”

Radio-Canada TV, Dec 1, 2010: Radio-Canada Ombudsman upholds HRC complaint concerning host Simon Durivage’s inappropriate association between Israel, Iran and Sudan: “Radio-Canada acknowledged that it was inappropriate to use Iran and Sudan as examples to illustrate the dangers of Canada’s unconditional support for Israel.”, “… by erroneously associating Israel with Iran and Sudan, Simon Durivage did not adhere to one of the central principles of CBC/Radio-Canada’s Journalistic Standards and Practices, that of accuracy.”, “Associating Israel with Iran and Sudan in this way constituted a journalistic error.”

Radio-Canada TV, Nov 26, 2010: Radio-Canada host Simon Durivage issues an on-air apology for equating Israel with Iran and Sudan following 200+ HRC member complaints: “Before introducing my guests, however, I’d like to return to the Match des élus broadcast of one month ago, where we discussed with our Ottawa panel the reasons that might have led to Canada losing a coveted seat on the United Nations Security Council. Among the reasons for this defeat, I raised the fact that Arab and Muslim countries surely had a hand in it, and had voted against it, because of the Harper government’s unconditional support for Israel since coming to power in Ottawa. And I asked our four MP’s whether it wasn’t dangerous for the Harper government to get too close to Israel, a country whose actions and policies are sometimes controversial, and I added that I would have asked the same question if Canada was too close to other countries, like Iran or Sudan. In this case, I acknowledge that the two examples were very poorly chosen. Israel clearly bears no resemblance to Iran and Sudan when it comes to controversial policies, not to mention that Israel is a democratic country, and that the other two are not, or at least not by our criteria. Incidentally, it was not my intention to compare Israel to those two countries, but it appears that some viewers took it that way and were offended by it. I would therefore like to sincerely apologize to anyone who may have taken offence. I promise to be more careful in my choice of examples next time.”

Toronto Star, Nov 8 2010: Toronto Star removes a misleading claim from an online report stating that PM Stephen Harper had contended Canada’s loss of a seat at the UN was due to Canada’ pro-Israel stand.

Ottawa Sun, Jun 1 2010: “Israeli visit, flotilla attack fuels protest”. Report falsely claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t make it to Ottawa as planned during the Gaza flotilla incident. Correction issued: “A story in Tuesday’s Sun said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t make it to Ottawa during his official visit as planned. Netanyahu was in fact in the city but cut his two-day visit short to return to Israel Monday to handle the flotilla aid crisis.”

Toronto Star, Mar 22 2010: Barghouti deserves to be heard”. Letter-writer Robert Barakett of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle-East (CJPME) failed to disclose his affiliation to the pro-Palestinian pressure group in a letter to Editor he wrote in the Toronto Star. The Toronto Star’s Public Editor acknowledged the lack of disclosure: “I spoke to Editorial Page Editor…about this. Had the letter writer disclosed his affiliation with Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, we most certainly would have published it. We do expect letter writers to disclose any affiliations that have an impact on subjects they are writing about. I will also alert the Letters editor to this affiliation of Robert Barakett of Montreal with CJPME in the event that he submits letters about Mideast issues in the future.”

CBC Online, June 4 2009: “CBC reports that the Palestinian village of Bil’in had sent two representatives to Montreal to sue Quebec companies Green Park and Green Mount Int. for alleged ‘war crimes.’ No comment from either organization was presented nor were there comments from any pro-Israel organization. An updated report featured comments from the lawyers of these companies.”

CBC.ca News, June 2 2009: “Report states ‘Palestinian village sends pair to sue Quebec companies… town alleges firms broke law by building Israeli settlements.’ Report re-issued to add “A Montreal lawyer for the companies, Ronald Levy, told the CBC News the lawsuit is totally inappropriate and this case falls outside of Canadian legal jurisdiction. On June 22, he said, he’ll demand the Quebec Superior Court dismiss the lawsuit.” Correction issued.

Montreal Gazette, May 16 2009: Apology – “A report about a downtown rally for Israel’s independence day began with an anecdote about a Quebec flag left on the ground to be “trod upon.” The intention behind that was to go beyond a straight report of the event and reflect on flags and nationalism in a province where both are ever-present. Unfortunately, it really didn’t come across that way in the context of a story about a rally that went off with no significant disruptions. To many readers, it looked as if we had gone out looking for something negative – which certainly wasn’t our intention. Throughout our writing and editing process, we should have realized how it would look the next morning.”

National Post, Mar 20 2009: “The Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario states the Conservative Party is engaged in a “plan to undermine democratic decision-making on Canadian campuses.” The federal Canadian Federation of Students is a separately incorporated and directed union of student governments. A Page One story yesterday did not distinguish between the two. Also a characterization of the CFS as “staunchly anti-Zionist” was inaccurate. Neither organization takes an official position on the Mideast conflict.” Correction issued.

CBC TV, Dec 29 2008: “Phyllis Bennis incorrectly described as a “media analyst,” when she is a “leftist critic of Israel.” CBC agreed that additional information should have been included to qualify this individual’s background.”

National Post, Sept 10 2008: “The story originally incorrectly said Michael Ignatieff attended the pro-Lebanon rally in Montreal two years ago.” Correction issued.

Kingston Whig Standard, July 31 2008: “Report details the detention of a Kingston man in the West Bank, stating ‘After two days of trying to get him to sign a statement written in Hebrew, police officers took him to a prison near the Tel Aviv airport where he was held with other foreigners until his flight home.’ Report later revealed that the information came from the man himself and could not be verified. Clarification issued.

CBC Online, Dec 19 2007: “A CBC News quiz’s answer legend inaccurately claimed that “Canada is providing $300 million over the next three years to the Palestinian economy. Contrary to this statement and as the CBC itself reported on Dec. 17: ‘Canada would provide $300 million over the next five years.’ CBC Online’s executive producer apologized and amended the news quiz. Correction issued.

Toronto Star, March 16, 2007: “The executive secretary of the Ontario Press Council wrote a letter to the editor to correct an erroneous press council notice which incorrectly identified the source of a video of suicide bombers preparing for a mission as Palestine Media Watch. In fact, the name of the organization is Palestinian Media Watch.” Correction issued.

Canadian Press, March 15, 2007: “An Ontario Press Council ruling erroneously identified the source of a video of suicide bombers preparing for a mission as Palestine Media Watch. In fact, the name of the organization is Palestinian Media Watch.” Corrective issued over CP Wire.

CBC Online, December 27, 2006: “News quiz misstated the Canadian aid expenditure to help in relief efforts after the Israeli-Hezbollah war this past summer.” Correction issued.London Free Press, October 24, 2006: “Reporter claimed that a Canada Israel Committee trip was still proceeding, however the trip had been cancelled long before.” Correction issued.

Victoria Times Colonist, Apr 1 2006: “Ottawa retains indirect aid to Palestinians: The federal government has cancelled $7.3 million in planned direct aid to the Palestinian Authority because the ruling party, Hamas, has not renounced violence. It will continue to give $17.7 million in indirect aid through non-governmental organizations working in Palestinian territories. An editorial in Thursday’s Times Colonist said the entire $25 million funding program had been cancelled.” Correction issued.

Toronto Star, March 2006: “The Media column published Tuesday incorrectly said that three people were ignored when they asked for clarification about a recent Globe and Mail editorial. In fact, one of the three did receive a response from the paper. In the same column, the name of the website Palestinian Media Watch was spelled incorrectly.” Correction issued.

National Post, March 21 2006: “Adam Budzanowski is the Canadian aid worker who was kidnapped and later released in Gaza last week. An incorrect first name appeared in the Post of March 17.” Correction issued.

Globe and Mail, March 16 2005: “Canadian hostage released in the Gaza Strip was incorrectly identified.” Correction issued.

CBC Online, March 16 2005: “Reporter misstated the Canadian government’s position on aid appropriations to the Palestinian Authority.” Admission of error.

CBC Online, Feb 10 2005: A Neil MacDonald column stated the following: “If Palestinians have committed terror, the Israelis have certainly committed war crimes.” After HRC complained the CBC agreed that this statement was “open to the interpretation of bias” and edited this statement online to say the following: “ If Palestinians have committed terror, so the argument goes, the Israelis have certainly committed war crimes.”

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