Even In Defeat, UBC’s Anti-Israel Mob Given Sanitized Coverage By CityNews

July 11, 2024

Like dominos, one by one, the illegal anti-Israel occupations on Canadian universities are coming down, with demonstrators having nothing to show for their efforts. But that hasn’t stopped many news reports from attempting to frame the occupations as somehow being highly successful, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

Even as the illegal anti-Israel occupation at the University of British Columbia (UBC) ends after more than two months, one recent news broadcast provided a highly sanitized retelling of the demonstration which conveniently whitewashed the ugly scenes which characterized the protest, not to mention its total failure at achieving its stated demands.

In a July 9 television report for CityNews in Vancouver entitled: “UBC encampment ends after 71 days,” Video Journalist Cecilia Hua reported on the recent dismantlement of the UBC encampment, but did not once even hint at the violence and hate speech present there, where anti-Israel demonstrators physically blocked those whom they deemed unsuitably anti-Israel, including Jews and Israelis, from entering their self-declared zone.

Instead, Hua only quoted voices supportive of the occupation, including two students on campus, one of whom spoke of the “the sense of community, care” at the protest, in a statement evidently ignorant of the ugliness that was present for more than two months as a result of the anti-Israel mob which had encamped there.

Hua’s video broadcast also featured May Lim, the “Media Liaison” for “People’s University UBC,” the name that the anti-Israel mob gave itself, who told Hua that “the encampment did what it was intended to do.”

However, a cursory look at the mob’s demands, which were posted to their Instagram page on April 29, makes clear that they achieved none of what they had wanted. Their demands included the full divestment by UBC from companies affiliated with Israel, a full academic boycott of Israel by the university administration, public condemnation of Israel, and perhaps most darkly of all, to “reaffirm Palestinians’ right to resist and their Right of Return,” a code word for Israel’s destruction.

The UBC administration did none of those things, but that did not stop the mob’s spokesperson from vainly attempting to spin their total failure as a victory. And while it is their right to be dishonest and ignore their own demands, it was Hua’s report which allowed the anti-Israel occupiers’ disinformation to stand.

Hua’s report also overlooked one of the most remarkable elements of the anti-Israel occupations on campuses across Canada: that most of the participants were not students. At the University of Alberta, only around one-quarter of demonstrators were estimated to be students there, and at McGill University, the school’s president pointed out that the occupation there was “organized largely by individuals who are not part of our university community.”

But in Hua’s report, viewers did not receive any context about the harassment and intimidation that took place there, nor about the external players who effectively invaded the university, instead providing the public with a whitewashed version of events which served only to present the occupation in glowing terms, completely at odds with reality, in a profound disservice to Canadians.

Take action now by sending a complaint to City News Vancouver video journalist Cecilia Hua:
cecilia.hua@rci.rogers.com.

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