CBC News Article Whitewashes Anti-Israel Mob, Twisting Story Into Referendum On Israeli Policy

March 11, 2024

A March 7 article for CBC News converted a grotesque display of antisemitic harassment and attempted intimidation of a Jewish community into a discussion on the legality of Israel’s presence in its ancestral lands.

The article entitled: “Arrests made at protest outside Toronto-area synagogue hosting event marketing occupied West Bank land,” written by reporter Vanessa Balintec, covered a demonstration that day, organized by a fanatical anti-Israel group, Palesign, led by Naveed Awan, who is a fixture at local pro-Palestinian rallies.

The protest ostensibly was opposed to an Israeli real estate program being held at a Thornhill synagogue, which brought about 100 anti-Israel activists into a heavily Jewish neighbourhood, who were met with a much larger group of about 100 pro-Israel counter-demonstrators.

But rather than sharing the story for what it was, Balintec instead twisted the actions of the antisemitic mob into an article reporting on the program in the synagogue, telling readers that the event “marketed property in the occupied West Bank.”

The CBC’s headline suggested that the event is exclusively to market land in Israeli settlements, when in reality, most of the land is in Israel proper.

While mentioning the program is relevant to the article, the overwhelming thrust of Balintec’s article surrounded the morality and legality of a program selling real estate in Israel.

Only halfway through the article did Balintec even address the grotesqueness of an anti-Israel mob descending on a synagogue in a Jewish neighbourhood, quoting local politicians for condemning the display.

Balintec’s article soon returned to its central theme, quoting anti-Israel protesters who decried the alleged “illegal sales of stolen Palestinian land,” all while utterly disregarding the extensive legal and historical rights that Israel possesses to its ancestral territories.

Though far from its biggest crime, the article inferred that the real estate event was primarily focused on properties in Judea & Samaria (West Bank), when in fact, most properties are within Israel’s pre-1967 lines, widely accepted by the international community. Such details are irrelevant for the anti-Israel protest crowd, whose leaders have made clear they make no distinctions, seeing all of Israel as illegal.

The story also quoted one protester from Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), a group whose chapters have explicitly praised Hamas’ October 7 massacres in southern Israel, but at no point did Balintec provide any context or background to readers about the nature of the group.

In the immediate aftermath of Hamas’ October 7 killings, PYM advertised an event, “All Out For Palestine,” where it called “on our people in the far diaspora in Toronto to uplift and honour our resistance and our martyrs,” inviting their followers to “celebrate our steps closer to liberation!”

Balintec also quoted another demonstrator, this time from Toronto4Palestine, once again presenting them as little more than a pro-Palestinian organization.

In reality, the group has publicly spread Holocaust denialism, including creating a social media post that “it is likely they may have lied about certain details of a previous big genocide that may have occurred?”

This latest attempted intimidation is only the latest in an ongoing campaign by anti-Israel activists to harass the general public, including forcibly shutting down an event in downtown Toronto with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and visiting Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Vanessa Balintec’s article for CBC News, much like a Canadian Press article published the same day, is an inexcusable reframing of a hateful mob, and turning the entire report into a referendum on Israeli policy in its historic homeland.

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