CBC Misleads By Failing To Identify Dead Palestinians As Terrorists

March 10, 2023

It’s a recurring pattern that when CBC reports on Palestinian death tolls, more often than not, our public broadcaster’s journalists fail to disclose that most, if not all of the Palestinian casualties, are terrorists; many of whom were killed in armed conflict with Israeli forces, or who were neutralized while carrying out a terror attack.

Case in point, on March 9, CBC journalist Chris Brown produced reports for CBC Radio and TV on protests in Israel about judicial reform, where Mr. Brown also reported on recent violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

In a CBC Radio report that was broadcast at 8:01am and several times throughout the day, the following was said:

CBC Anchor: “The mass protests come as three more Palestinian were killed today by Israeli security forces in a raid in the west bank. Our correspondent Chris Brown is in Jerusalem this morning.”

Reporter Brown: “At the same time, violence between Israeli settlers and Palestinians is surging, especially following the shooting death of two Israeli settlers in the occupied west bank last week… This morning, three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli security services after seven others were killed earlier this week.”

Click to listen to the report:


In a CBC television report that was aired at 10:37am and several times throughout the day, Mr. Brown said the following:

Reporter Brown: “… uptick in violence between Israeli settlers in particular and Palestinians. Something like 70 Palestinians have been killed in 2023 alone by Israeli security operations. 11 Israelis have been killed. So, obviously terrible loses on both sides.”

Reporter Brown: “Just today, there were three more Palestinians killed in a government action, there were six or seven the other day, so really, you’re seeing an entire country coming to the boiling point.”

Click to watch the report:

HonestReporting Canada conveyed to CBC News directly our concern that Mr. Brown failed to acknowledge that of the 9 Palestinians killed this week by Israeli forces, all are confirmed terrorists and were armed gunmen who engaged in hostilities with Israel. Failing to mention this vital context, misled CBC listeners and viewers into believing that Israel killed 9 presumably innocent Palestinian civilians. In our view, omitting this critical information was a fundamental violation of the CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices. While Mr. Brown qualified the dead Israelis as being “settlers,” no such qualification was given for the Palestinians as being “militants” or “gunmen”.

In sharp contrast, NBC News noted that in one incident: “Israel said troops targeted and killed a Hamas operative responsible for gunning down two Israeli brothers last month. Palestinian armed groups later said that all five of the other fatalities were also militants and members of either Hamas, Islamic Jihad or the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.”

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail identified all dead Palestinians as “six gunmen.” Also, the Times of Israel reported that: “Three Palestinian Islamic Jihad gunmen were shot dead by Israeli forces in the northern West Bank on Thursday morning during an attempted arrest raid, police said.”

Finally, with respect to the killing of 70 Palestinians in 2023 alone, Mr. Brown has again failed to mention that this number is comprised predominantly of terrorists (or in CBC parlance, “militants”) and a small number, regrettably, of civilians. The overwhelming number of Palestinian casualties are comprised of Palestinian terrorists, approximately 59 of the 70. As well, 13 Israelis and 1 Ukrainian national have been killed in Palestinian terror attacks, not 11, and all were civilians, except for one individual.

We told senior CBC News executives that these reports stood in violation of the CBC’s standards as vital information wasn’t disclosed to CBC listeners and viewers about the makeup of these Palestinian casualties. Accordingly, we requested that corrective action be taken on CBC Radio and Television to set the record straight.

Subsequent to our complaint, CBC broadcast two new reports by journalist Chris Brown on CBC Radio at 6:23pm and on CBC TV at 6:52pm.

Of importance, Mr. Brown’s CBC Radio report falsely described Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital city, whereas Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal and undivided capital. Accordingly, we called on CBC to set the record straight on this matter.

Click to listen to the report:


Secondly, we again took issue with Mr. Brown’s failure to explain that the Palestinian fatalities this past week were all members of terrorist organizations, and were therefore combatants. To reiterate, 13 Israelis have been killed this year in Palestinian terror attacks, along with a Ukrainian national citizen. Another way to report on this is to say that 14 people have been killed in Israel this year in Palestinian terror attacks.

In this radio report, Mr. Brown said: “Israel’s rightward lurch has sent violence with the Palestinians surging. Almost every day this week, Palestinians have been killed in Israeli military raids with the latest funerals near Jenin. 11 Israelis have been killed in attacks by militants so far this year, but the toll for Palestinians is now well over 70 dead, including both militants and civilians. And tonight, there was a shooting in Tel Aviv that injured 3 people. Authorities quickly blamed it on a terrorist, who in their words, was neutralized. Chris Brown, CBC News, Jerusalem.”

While we note that CBC has somewhat improved its reporting by now acknowledging that the Palestinian death toll of 70, “includes both militants and civilians,” again, CBC obfuscated by failing to tell Canadians that the overwhelming majority of the dead Palestinians are confirmed terrorists.

Meanwhile, on CBC Television, Mr. Brown said: “Israel’s rightward lurch has sent violence with the Palestinians surging. 70 Palestinian militants and civilians have been killed since the start of the year and eleven Israelis are also dead…”

Click to watch the report:

This statement on its own was this reporter’s opinion disguised as news and it’s important to note that this statement was not in attribution. How do we know that Israel’s now having a right-wing government has directly caused an increase in violence with the Palestinians? This may be a suspicion, but it’s not a confirmed fact and that’s not how CBC represented the matter. Is it not possible that other factors may have impacted and inspired recent violence? To wit, when Israel had a coalition government under Yair Lapid and Palestinian terror attacks never subsided, we certainly didn’t hear CBC blame Palestinian terrorism on Israel having a left-of-center government. Reason being, irrespective of the makeup of Israel’s government, Palestinian terrorism has never stopped.

Notwithstanding, HonestReporting Canada will continue to monitor and scrutinize the CBC’s reporting and ensure that our public broadcaster’s journalists stop sanitizing Palestinian terrorism.


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