CBC Fails To Disclose That Interviewee Works For A Recognized Terrorist Group By Israel

November 29, 2023

In the November 28 broadcast of the CBC radio program As It Happens titled: “Why some advocates say all Palestinians detained in Israel are political prisoners,” guest host Peter Armstrong, a senior business reporter for CBC News, and a former foreign correspondent based in Jerusalem, spoke with Tala Nasir, a lawyer with Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, an organization which CBC News describes as advocating “for the rights of Palestinian prisoners.”

The interview was accompanied by an article written by journalist Sheena Goodyear, and with files by Brishti Basu, a CBC News reporter whose social media is replete with anti-Israel content, and who was a signatory of a 2021 anti-Israel open letter.

Listen to the CBC segment below:

Addameer is a banned terrorist organization by Israel. Israel accused the group of being an affiliate of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a banned terrorist organization in Canada. There are still extensive areas of connection between Addameer and the PFLP, and it would have been extremely important for CBC to share this important context with readers and listeners.

During the interview, Nasir repeatedly misrepresented the nature of Palestinian prisoners freed by Israel.

Nasir misleadingly referred to Palestinian “child detainees” and “children” held by Israel, though after being pressed by Armstrong, she admitted they were, in fact, minors between the ages of 14 to 18-years-old.

During her remarks, Nasir cited one Palestinian detainee who was released as someone “who suffers severe burns all over her body.” Nasir presumably was referring to Israa Jaabis, a 39-year-old Palestinian who detonated a gas canister in her vehicle in 2015 when she was pulled over by police. According to authorities, she was en route to Israel, where she was planning on carrying out a suicide bomb attack.

This whitewashing of Palestinian terrorism by Nasir continued throughout her interview.

After being asked by Armstrong about the serious and violent nature of the crimes the Palestinian prisoners were accused of, she downplayed them, saying “most of them are being charged with throwing stones and molotov cocktails, so there are no serious crimes we’re talking about here.”

The “stones” referred to by Nasir are often huge rocks, and Palestinian rock throwing attacks have killed Israeli motorists when their vehicles were struck. In one particularly grotesque case, in 2011, a 24-year-old Israeli man and his infant son were murdered by Palestinians throwing rocks at their car. And of course, throwing a firebomb can kill and is a serious crime.

Even after being challenged to state if even those Palestinians facing serious accusations being released worries her, she flatly replied “no, it doesn’t.”

Though Armstrong repeatedly attempted to press Nasir for clarity on her position regarding the true nature of Palestinian detainees in Israel, she evaded them, falsely framing all Palestinians in Israeli prisoners as innocent victims of Israel.

Nasir doubled down, attempting to re-frame the debate by arguing that “every Palestinian detainee in Israeli prisons based on their political activity as a political prisoner.”

What Nasir euphemistically referred to as “political activity,” included attempted murder and other violent attacks. One recently-released Palestinian prisoner, Nafoz Hamad, stabbed her Jewish neighbour in 2021 in an attempted murder attack.

Despite Armstrong’s laudable efforts to get the truth from Nasir, she responded only with obfuscation and doublespeak, attempting to position all Palestinian detainees as innocent, when in reality, they were incarcerated for serious, often very violent, crimes.

Notwithstanding, this CBC program’s failure to disclose that its interviewee works for a recognized terrorist group by Israel was a major shortcoming.

HonestReporting Canada has filed a complaint with CBC News about this report and we encourage you to do the same. Send complaints to CBC Editor-In-Chief Brodie Fenlon at: Brodie.Fenlon@cbc.ca.

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