Regular HonestReporting Canada readers are familiar with how Neil Macdonald, a former CBC News Mideast Bureau Chief and former Washington correspondent, habitually twisted unrelated domestic and world affairs stories into criticisms of Israel. (See the following examples: here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
Now a “columnist” at CBC News and no longer regarded as a reporter, Macdonald has continued using the CBC platform to malign Israel. In a commentary on July 25 entitled “Conservative politicians flock to U.S. media to whip up ignorance and bile,” Macdonald criticized several Conservative politicians for appearing on American news programs and for publishing commentaries in American publications rebuking the Trudeau government’s $10.5 million settlement and apology to Omar Khadr.
MacDonald introduced his commentary by expressing admiration for the late Yossi Sarid, of the leftist Israeli political party Meretz. MacDonald wrote:
“He attacked the occupation of the West Bank and control of Gaza. He attacked the Israeli army’s indifference to violence by Jewish settlers and its violent treatment of Palestinian children. Believe me, that took courage, especially during an intifada.
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared in 2015 that there would be no limit to the number of refugees her country would accept, even as Israel closed its doors to people fleeing oppression in Africa, Sarid wrote: ‘Suddenly they sound like Jews, and we sound like Germans.'”
In one fell swoop, Macdonald found it necessary to lead off his commentary by indirectly criticizing Israel’s military and civilian presence in Judea and Samaria (the “west bank”) and Israel’s legal blockade of Hamas-controlled and terror-run Gaza. Jewish settlers were unfairly generalized as being “violent” and Israel’s army as being “indifferent” to such violence. Macdonald cast the lot of Israel’s army as being “violent (in its) treatment of Palestinian children.” No mention was given that Israel exhausts every effort to avoid civilian casualties, children especially and is adherent to the Geneva Conventions and international law. Interestingly, Macdonald failed to rebuke Palestinian terrorists for their violent treatment of Israeli children and violent Palestinian treatment of Israeli settlers. Furthermore, Macdonald allowed the rebuke of Israel’s policy of dealing with Africans who claim they are fleeing oppression. Though certainly a legitimate topic and one that is controversial in Israel, Macdonald failed to explain the unique challenge that Israel faces when dealing with refugees, migrants, job seekers and claimed asylum seekers, while balancing the needs of security (for example, Israel is officially at war with Sudan) and of ensuring that the Jewish character of the State of Israel remains sacrosanct.
Macdonald likely would say that these views were attributed to Yossi Sarid, and he’d be correct, but Macdonald just happened to conveniently spotlight and give a platform to such views which were harshly critical of Israel and only of Israel, on the CBC’s widely-read website. To date, Macdonald’s commentary has been shared 7,641 times with 3,114 comments.
It would seem that Neil Macdonald flocks to the CBC’s website to whip up ignorance and bile against the Jewish state of Israel.