CBC Gives Glowing Coverage To Tiny Anti-Israel Protest

A May 8 CBC News video segment entitled: “Students, faculty, and supporters gather at second pro-Palestinian rally at Western University” failed at an embarrassing level to fulfill the basic tenets of journalism.

In just two short minutes, this segment offered an unmitigated free-for-all platform for protestors to say whatever they wanted to the Canadian public — whether true or not — without any response of any kind, let alone actual scrutiny, fact-checking, balance, or context.

Watch the segment below:

Three protestors spoke in the segment, only one of whom even claims to be a student (though she remains anonymous, so — given the absence of accuracy endemic to this report — this claim cannot be verified). The speakers said outrageous and easily disprovable things, such as the allegation that Israel has killed “40,000 civilians, and people most of whom have been women and children.”

And after two straight minutes of this drivel, the segment just ends. No response, follow-up questions, or commentary. No fact-checking or qualification of inaccurate claims. No alternate viewpoints or discussion. No background on what this is even about, what is happening on the campus at large, or what viewers need to know to understand the report.

The claim that Israel killed “40,000 civilians” is so verifiably false, it’s hard to know where to begin with debunking it. Despite the fact that the United Nations has been thus far unable to independently verify a full third of the casualties alleged by Hamas and is relying solely on their demonstrably unreliable word for overall figures, even Hamas itself is only claiming that roughly 35,000 people have died in total — and it should be noted that the official Hamas figure only topped 35,000 several days after this CBC report aired.

On top of that, this figure includes at least 13,000+ Hamas-affiliated combatants — and that was the number reported almost two months ago. Statements by Israeli officials suggest that, by now, as high as 50% of the total casualties are Hamas terrorists, as opposed to civilians. Even without factoring in the additional points that Hamas has many unofficial collaborators fighting alongside their formal battalions, and that an unknown number of these casualties are the result of direct Hamas violence or Hamas rocket misfires, rather than Israeli war actions, this already paints a shockingly and unprecedentedly low civilian to combatant ratio for any comparable urban warfare in world history. A far, far cry from the speaker’s unchallenged lie of 40,000 civilian deaths.

But this first speaker’s falsehood goes further still. She not only lies about the number of casualties and the nature of their involvement, she also shockingly claimed that most of the deaths have been “women and children.” She chose quite a time to make this allegation, as the United Nations has just drastically revised the number of women and children it believes to have died during the war by nearly a whopping half — making her allegation that these groups constitute the majority of deaths outrageously inaccurate. This is also before factoring in the unfortunate reality that Hamas uses teenagers as child soldiers, and that a significant number of the deaths recorded as “children” are likely 17 or 18-year old combatants.

Despite crumbling on so many levels under basic scrutiny, these malicious lies went totally unchallenged in this CBC report.

Other questionable and inaccurate comments were similarly platformed without any context or scrutiny. In advocating their demands of Western University, one protestor stated that “other institutions in Canada have already said they will divest.” Unless he has access to secret information that the general public does not, it’s unclear what he’s referring to — as no major Canadian university has agreed to divest from Israel based on the encampment protests thus far.

Additionally, the protestors interviewed state their goal as “divestment from…companies that manufacture weapons for Israel,” yet a sign visibly displayed elsewhere in the segment states “Western invests $336 million in companies complicit in occupation.” Once again, unless these protestors have access to secret information that the general public doesn’t, in this case suggesting that Western is casually going out on a limb to pour an amount equaling eighty percent of its entire 2023 operating budget into direct investments in Israeli weapons manufacturers, this would seem to be self-contradictory.

To those who care enough to actually pay attention, this is confirmation that the “weapons manufacturers” narrative is nothing more than a public relations talking point by the protestors, and that the true goal of their Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is the complete ostracization and economic strangulation of anyone and anything deemed even nominally connected to something interacted with by anyone Israeli or Jewish. This is why the BDS movement has been labeled antisemitic by Canada’s federal government.

On an even more basic level, the report’s lack of information and context provided a misleading picture of this whole protest as being far more significant than it actually was. Local reports confirm that it was attended by as few as 40 people — hardly a newsworthy event compared to the hundreds of Western students who attended pro-Israel events on campus or the hundreds who attended a pro-Israel rally at the University of Toronto within the same 24-hour period.

The report also ignored the fact that Western University has voiced concerns that these protests are creating an unsafe campus environment, and that some participants are not actually affiliated with the university. It goes without saying that it was far too much to ask for the report to have provided any background whatsoever, even in passing, on the fact that the war being protested is a defensive war in response to the largest terror attack on a democratic nation since 9/11 and that over 130 hostages remain held by Hamas in Gaza, or that the encampment movement has wreaked antisemitic havoc across the continent.

The protestors interviewed note that students should have the right to object to their tuition dollars being spent on things they don’t support. Perhaps CBC should recognize that many Canadians feel the same way about their tax dollars being used to fund  broadcasts that distort the truth and defy the values of millions of people.

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