McGill Daily Violates MOU With McGill University Once Again With Anti-Israel Statement

In a letter sent to McGill University Principle & Vice Chancellor Suzanne Fortier today, HonestReporting Canada has once again conveyed our serious concerns about the McGill Daily’s engaging in partisan anti-Israel activism, a flagrant violation of its MOU with McGill University.

On May 18, the Daily published the following “Statement in solidarity with Palestine” to its website. There was no such solidarity statement with the Israeli people who just endured 4,000+ rockets fired at the Jewish state by Hamas terrorists which saw 13 Israelis murdered and several hundred maimed. To recall, this is the same McGill Daily that in 2016, refused to publish pro-Zionist commentaries and that in 2019 peddled in antisemitism by claiming that Zionism is racism,

The Daily’s statement says the following:

The McGill Daily Editorial Board stands in solidarity with Palestinian civilians who are being forced out of their homes, violently attacked by Zionist occupation forces, and bombed in the Gaza Strip.

The Daily opposes colonialism, imperialism, and genocide in all forms. We also condemn McGill’s Zionist involvement, which is reflected in their continued investment in Israeli and international businesses located on occupied Palestinian land. This includes the settler colonial Zionist occupation of Palestinian land and systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, which is grounded in and funded by western imperialism. Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is nothing short of apartheid.

Our commitment to anti-oppression includes an obligation to fight for a free Palestine. The Daily will continue to support Palestinian human rights and the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement. We encourage our non-Palestinian readers to educate themselves using the resources provided in the next slides. It is essential to centre the voices of both Palestinian in occupied Palestine and diaspora in conversations about the occupation.

Sign the petition urging McGill University to divest from Israeli companies and update the discrimination and racism policy to reflect the needs of Palestinian, Muslim, and Arab students.

We also encourage our readers to join us today in standing with Palestine from 3:30pm onwards at the Y-intersection on McGill campus for a solidarity movement organized by SPHR McGill to resist institutional silence from the McGill administration, which will then be heading to a rally in support of the Palestinian uprising and general strike at the Israeli consulate at 5pm. Protesting and putting political pressure on the Israeli settler colonial state in accordance with the BDS movement is an essential way to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinian demands.

In solidarity,

The McGill Daily Editorial Board

The allegation that Israel is committing “genocide,” “ethnic cleansing”, “apartheid” and that it intentionally targets Palestinian civilians is appalling and unfounded. The Daily’s support and advocacy for the antisemitic BDS movement shows its complete lack of objectivity and failure to maintain politically neutrality. Instead, the Daily has engaged in anti-Israel advocacy, which is on full display as the Daily encourages readers to sign an anti-Israel petition calling on McGill to divest from Israeli companies. It’s alignment with SPHR, which we have reported on before, shows its total lack of journalistic independence.

The Daily’s animus towards Israel is on full display and it only serves to alienate and intimidate Jews and pro-Israel students at McGill University, in Montreal and abroad.

To be specific, the Daily’s statement violates McGill’s MOU, per section 10.3, as it contravenes the Quebec Press Council’s Guide of Journalist Ethics in the following sections (emphasis added):

Section B: Independence:

6. Independence and integrity: Journalists must avoid, in both their professional and personal lives, any behavior, engagement, function or task that could impair their ability to perform their duties with independence and integrity.

6.1 Conflict of interest: (1) Journalists must avoid any conflict of interest, real or perceived, and must exhibit a high degree of personal integrity at all times. (2) News media must avoid placing their journalists in situations of conflict of interest, either real or perceived.

6.2 Political, ideological and commercial influences: News media shall under no circumstances let their commercial, political, ideological or other interests outweigh the public’s right to information of quality or restrain the professional independence of their journalists.

Section C: Pursuing the truth:

9. Qualitative characteristics of information: Depending on the type of journalism, news and information pieces produced by journalists and news media should possess the following qualities: a) accuracy: fidelity to the truth; b) rigorous reasoning; c) impartiality: providing an unbiased point of view; d) balance: striving to present all sides of a story; e) completeness: presenting all the facts and information essential to understanding while preserving editorial freedom.

Ms. Fortier has previously acknowledged past breaches of the MOU by the Daily and acknowledged that its editorial practices are of concern. HonestReporting Canada has had in-person meetings with McGill University in the past in addressing this situation and this is just the latest offense. Accordingly, we have requested that an immediate investigation be conducted by McGill University and asked for disciplinary measures to be enforced and protocols put in place to prevent this type of conduct by the Daily.

Stay tuned to this page for any updates.


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