Concordia University Student Newspaper Gives A Platform To A Palestinian Group Which Has Advocated For A Convicted Murderer

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[/columns]Abba Eban, Israel’s long-time ambassador to the United Nations, once famously said that “the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” One could paraphrase Eban and say that The Link, Concordia University’s student newspaper, never misses an opportunity to malign Israel.

In a recent article published on May 13 entitled: “75 years of Palestinian Resistance: Stories of the Nakba and Art Exhibition,” writer Menna Nayel covered an art exhibit held in Montreal, commemorating ‘The nakba,’ organized by the group Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), highlighting two Palestinian artists.

The nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe,” is a term commonly used to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State.

In the article, Nayel quoted Sarah Abdelshamy, an organizer with PYM, who said that the organization is “a group of Palestinian and Arab youth who organize in Montreal to put together different events. We organize for the liberation of Palestine and to confront and combat Zionism here in Canada.”

While Nayel did not provide any further context to these statements, they are dog whistles meant to legitimize the destruction of Israel.

Calling for “the liberation of Palestine,” as Abdelshamy has, alongside the statement that PYM aims to “combat Zionism,” leaves little room for doubt.

Zionism is the Jewish People’s national movement for self-determination in the ancestral Jewish homeland, the land of Israel. Thus, by fighting Zionism, Abdelshamy and the PYM are opposed not just to Israel, but to the Jewish People’s right to determine their own future in their own homeland.

Abdelshamy’s statement is hardly at odds with the group’s past activities.

As pointed out by HonestReporting Canada in a May 8 alert, PYM organized a rally in front of France’s consulate in Montreal in support of Georges Abdallah, currently serving time in a French jail in connection with two murders, which after his arrest by French authorities, he showed no remorse, saying “I do what I do because of the injustice done to human rights where Palestine is concerned.”

The issues with Nayel’s coverage go well beyond her giving space to PYM and its noxious views.

Nayel introduced the article by telling readers that the term nakba “refers to the displacement of Palestinians for the creation of Israel. Palestinians who still reside in Palestine live under colonial oppression, in refugee camps on their own land, or in the diaspora.”

This is an absurd rewriting of history on Nayel’s part.

Following the proclamation of Israel’s independence in 1948, it was immediately invaded by surrounding Arab states, who sought to destroy the new Jewish country.

Expecting a rapid victory over Israel, many Arab leaders actively encouraged members of the Arab community in Israel to leave, anticipating that they would soon return to their homes, once Israel was defeated.

As Time magazine reported on May 3, 1948, “The mass evacuation, prompted partly by fear, partly by orders of Arab leaders, left the Arab quarter of Haifa a ghost city….By withdrawing Arab workers their leaders hoped to paralyze Haifa.”

As for Nayel’s statement that Palestinians today “live under colonial oppression,” this too is an utter misrepresentation of the facts on the ground.

In Israel, all citizens regardless of race or religion, are guaranteed equal rights under the law. More than two million Arabs live in Israel today, and in no way do they “live under colonial oppression.” They can vote, stand for election, pursue any career they choose, and live where they want.

In Judea & Samaria (often called the “West Bank” by news media outlets), the large majority of Palestinians live under the civil control not of Israel, but of the Palestinian Authority (PA), who oversees the education, health care and other needs of Palestinians.

Not only is Israel not the oppressor that Nayel depicts it as, it is hardly colonial, either.

In fact, Israel is the very antithesis of a colonial state. While colonial powers conquered foreign lands to exploit its resources, the State of Israel is the exact opposite; a modern-day manifestation of an ancient Jewish homeland, where the Jewish People have lived for three thousand years.

Reasonable people may disagree on any number of Israeli government policies, but this article in The Link represents only the latest example of the newspaper uncritically regurgitating anti-Israel disinformation, and packaging it as legitimate news.

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