Eric Margolis Immorally Equates Syrian Brutality with Israeli Humanitarianism

February 17, 2012

By equating Syria’s ongoing ruthless massacre of 6,000 of its own citizens, to the Israeli government’s responsibility to protect its people from those who seek to exterminate them, Eric Margolis has shown once again why he cannot be seen as a fair and reliable Mideast commentator.



Eric Margolis Immorally Equates Syrian Brutality with Israeli Humanitarianism


By: Mike Fegelman, Executive Director February 17, 2012


Dear HonestReporting Canada Subscribers,

You’ve got to be pretty out there to equate Syria’s ongoing ruthless massacre of 6,000 of its own citizens, to the Israeli government’s responsibility to protect its populace from those who seek to exterminate them.

Leave it to Eric Margolis to be morally blinded by Syria’s lethal brutality and Israel’s painstaking and unprecedented efforts to avoid civilian casualties when targeting terrorists.

On the February 6 radio broadcast of the John Oakley Show on AM 640, Margolis (pictured right) equated Israel, which ranks as the most moral and ethical military in the world, to the Syrian regime, run by the “butcher” Basher Assad. A government that slaughters its own people, terrorizes its citizens, and tortures its own: men, women, and children alike.

At the midway point of this 8-minute long interview, Margolis, who this program refers to as itsForeign Affair expert,” “made the following eye-popping statements:


Margolis: “… U.S. Ambassador (to the UN) Rice said its ‘disgusting and deplorable’ the fact that China and Russia dared veto demands to oust the Syrian government, well, over the years, how many hundreds of vetoes has the U.S. cast to defend Israel from sanctions and censure? So there’s a lot of hypocrisy flying around these days.”

Oakley: “But wait a minute Eric except that Israel wasn’t massacring its own people en masse or anybody else en masse the same way as Syria’s army?”

Margolis: “Well I remember in Gaza a couple years back where the Israelis were shelling Gaza, killing a lot of people, or invading.”

Oakley: “You don’t think they were provoked at the time?”

Margolis: “Well everybody is provoked in these areas.”

Oakley: These are massacres of innocent civilians who were protesting their government in Syria. A bit different isn’t it?”

Margolis: “No, it’s more complicated than that John, that’s what the Western media is telling us and giving a very dishonest reporting on the area. There is a concerted Western campaign to overthrown the Syrian government. I have no affection for the Assad regime: It’s brutal, it’s a dictatorship and a police state, but Western, U.S., Israeli, Saudi Arabian, French-backed groups are being armed and put together in Lebanon and Jordan sent into Syria to overthrow the government. This is the latest campaign in the Arab Spring counter revolution trying to get rid of the last Arab regime which is really resisting Western policies, dictates.

To listen to this interview in full please click here or on the image below.

It’s important to acknowledge that host John Oakley swiftly challenged Margolis’ repugnant statements. His efforts were entirely praiseworthy, however as noted above, Margolis’ inflammatory non sequitur went well beyond the pale. Contrary to Margolis’ contentions, Operation Cast Lead was a legitimate defensive military operation to prevent deadly rockets from being launched into Israeli territory. Syria on the other hand, has committed odious crimes against humanity in stark violation of the Geneva Conventions.

This incident is just one in many recent examples which help explain why Margolis cannot be perceived to be an objective and reliable analyst. Indeed, Margolis’ habitual myopic portrayal of the Mideast region, his anti-western, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic bias, along with his many unsubstantiated allegations and 9/11 conspiracy theories disqualifies him as a credible and reliable source.” It’s worth noting that in 2009, Margolis refused to describe Hamas as “terrorists”, claiming that Israel was implementing a “final solution” campaign. As Ezra Levant put it at the time, Margolis’ comments amounted to “… classic anti-Semitism – (by) portraying Jews as Nazis”. Also, in a 2011 interview, Margolis forthrightly advocated for Iran to have nuclear weapons. He asked: “Why shouldn’t Iran have nuclear weapons to protect itself?” Importantly, even the Iranian regime doesn’t claim its trying to acquire a weapon of mass destruction for self defense purposes.

Back to AM 640, HonestReporting Canada contacted this station’s Senior Program Director Gord Harris about its choice of Margolis as a foreign affairs analyst. In response, Mr. Harris replied that Margolis “is one of many voices we have on-air expressing opinions on a variety of topics. They express their view of the world, and their views are regularly challenged by our program hosts in attempt to prompt a full and robust exploration of all sides. Again, I do appreciate the time you took to outline your concern, and rest assured it has prompted some good internal discussion.”

While Margolis is still listed on the AM640 website as an analyst, we hope that the internal discussions we prompted will lead to this news station reconsidering their use of this wholly discredited source. As it stands, Eric Margolis cannot be seen as being a fair and reliable Mideast commentator. In light of his tarnished journalistic career, Canadian media outlets like the CBC, AM 640, and TVO would be well advised to keep their distance from Eric Margolis.




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