CBC Radio Interviews Two Guests, A Jewish & A Palestinian Canadian Who Accuse Israel of Oppressing Palestinians & Morally Equate Israel & Hamas

On October 15, The Sunday Magazine with Piya Chattopadhyay, a CBC News radio program, broadcast a 22-minute segment entitled: “How to maintain solidarity in Canadian Jewish and Palestinian communities,” with host Chattopadhyay interviewing Raja Khouri, a Palestinian-Canadian, and Jeffrey Wilkinson, a Jewish-Canadian, for their views.

In her introduction, Chattopadhyay described Wilkinson as an expert who “works with Jewish communities on issues of Jewish-Palestinian-dialogue,” neglecting to mention that Wilkinson has been accused of making “offensive Holocaust comparisons that have no place in effective education to combat antisemitism,” according to a senior Jewish leader in Ottawa and Khouri has been accused by Ottawa’s Jewish Federation of making “social media posts (that) are almost exclusively focused on defaming the Jewish state.”

Although the segment was billed as a discussion on “how to strive for solidarity in a time of grief and trauma,” it quickly devolved into an attack by both Khouri and Wilkinson on Israel.

Khouri claimed that Israel “has been oppressing Palestinians for decades under occupation and under siege in Gaza,” using anti-Israel talking points to frame a discussion ostensibly about finding common ground.

Israel does not illegally occupy Palestinian land, possessing extensive legal claim to the territories it seeks, and more importantly, had the Palestinian Authority (PA) accepted negotiations in good faith with Israel, it undoubtedly could have achieved an independent Palestinian state. But instead, its leaders have chosen to fund terrorism, incite their population against peace with Israel and reject peace offers made by Israel.

During Wilkinson’s remarks, he praised calls to “free Palestine,” telling Chattopadhyay that he sees it as a “liberation movement to end oppression, to have equal rights for all citizens.” He then continued with a lecture for Canada’s Canadian Jewish community, telling it that it is “our responsibility to work to create a situation in our conversation…that supports non-violent resistance to oppression.”

It is unclear what Wilkinson was referring to by “non-violent resistance” that he had in mind, and what “oppression” he was referring to on Israel’s part, which was particularly tone-deaf given how he failed to call on Palestinian supporters to engage in introspection and support “non-violent resistance” against Hamas’ oppression of its own people.

Before long, Khouri began making a false moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas, the genocidal terrorist group which intentionally targets innocent people for murder. He told Chattopadhyay that “The violence of the oppressed is not the same as the violence of the oppressor,” adding that “Palestinians are living daily, violent lives because of the occupation and the oppression, and the occupation of Gaza.”

Though the claim is repeated with remarkable consistency, Israel does not occupy a single square inch of Gaza, and has not done so since the 2005 Disengagement, when it forcibly withdrew roughly 8,500 Israelis from the enclave.

But this reality did not stop Khouri from continuing by making the remarkable statement that for many Palestinians, “after being abused every day…punching back once or twice makes them the bad guys.”

In these comments, Khouri did a masterful job of turning truth on its head. Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since a 2007 violent coup, is a ruthless terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and attempts to murder as many Israelis as possible through any means possible. Consequently, Israel seeking to degrade Hamas’ capabilities to kill is somehow comparable to Hamas’ indiscriminate murder of 1,400 innocent Israelis on October 7.

Since Hamas’ mega terrorist attack in early October, multiple media outlets have fallen into the lazy trap of comparing Hamas’ murders with Israel’s attempts to defend itself. While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can seem like a morass, the morality of Israel’s obligation to defend its citizens, when contrasted with Hamas’ attempts to kill as many people as possible, is crystal clear.

Shamefully, CBC Anchor Piya Chattopadhyay failed to challenge her guest’s morally obtuse equivocation between Hamas, a terrorist group banned in Canada, and Israel, a liberal democratic state defending its people against Hamas’ murderous attacks.

Send your concerns directly to CBC The Sunday Edition by clicking here. Please refer to the program’s October 15 broadcast interview with Raja Khouri and Jeffrey Wilkinson, a Palestinian-Canadian and a Jewish-Canadian, respectively, who accused Israel of oppressing Palestinians and who morally equated Israel & Hamas.

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