CBC News Implicitly Suggests Israeli Settlements Caused Hamas To Massacre Civilians

On October 16, CBC News published a backgrounder news piece, purporting to share critical context with viewers about the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead, the 8-minute segment entitled: “Israel-Hamas war: Why are Palestinians dying in the West Bank?,” with host Andrew Chang, was rife with gross moral equivocation between Israel and Hamas, and a de facto implicit justification of terrorism against Israelis.

Chang told viewers that in the eyes of many Palestinians, Hamas’ bloody massacre of 1,400 innocent civilians on the morning of October 7, and their kidnapping of an estimated 200 more into the dark abyss of Gaza’s subterranean tunnels, represented “a recognition that this violent outburst by Hamas was a long time coming.”

While Chang is tragically correct that this horrific view is certainly shared by many Palestinians, such an outlook does not necessarily deserve to be given an uncritical platform. There is no moral justification for the methodical torture, rape and murder of scores of innocent men, women and children, and no explanation for it. In the same vein, mass murderers and perpetrators of genocide can also justify their actions, but it does not mean they should be legitimized.

In the report, Chang told viewers that “in the last 50 years, Hundreds of Jewish settlements have been built in the West Bank (Judea & Samaria), that’s hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers pushing into Palestinian territory, and it’s all considered illegal under international law,” later adding that “a literal wall prevents Palestinians from pushing back.”

While the claim that Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria are “illegal under international law” is oft-repeated, it is still not accurate. Israel possesses extensive rights to the land in question according to international law, but more importantly, the legality of Israel’s presence in Judea & Samaria is entirely irrelevant to what possessed Hamas to attack civilians in southern Israel in early October.

Hamas is a genocidal Islamist terrorist organization which seeks to destroy the State of Israel through violent means, and has proudly claimed responsibility for suicide bombings, rocket attacks and stabbings against Israeli civilians.

As such, there is no policy change that the Israeli government can undertake, including a full withdrawal from Judea & Samaria, which would convince Hamas to end its longstanding goal of eliminating Israel.

When Hamas terrorists (whom Chang referred to as “Hamas fighters”) invaded Israel on October 7, they didn’t just kill Israeli civilians; they tortured them, proudly displaying it all on film.

Chang quoted a Palestinian who spoke to CBC News, paraphrasing him as saying that “for people like him, Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza only underlines decades of Israeli occupation.” Chang failed to tell viewers that Israel does not, in fact, occupy a single square inch of the Gaza Strip, and has not done so since 2005, when the country forcibly withdrew all its citizens, military and civilian alike, from the enclave in an attempt to foster peace.

Reasonable people may disagree on Israeli governmental policies, but until journalists can freely acknowledge that Hamas will not rest until Israel is destroyed, it should become clear that there is nothing Israel can do which will dissuade Hamas from wanting to murder Israelis, and the corollary being that no Israeli governmental policy forced Hamas to murder and rape Israeli civilians.

Fanatical extremists will always concoct a post-facto justification for their murders, and while CBC News cannot be held accountable for Hamas’ grotesque ideology, it can and should be held accountable for giving it a platform as a legitimate viewpoint. On that point, all news outlets – and no less, Canada’s publicly-funded broadcaster – should take a firm stand that terrorism is morally reprehensible, and utterly indefensible.

Please send your concerns directly to CBC Reporter Andrew Chang at:
Andrew.Chang@cbc.ca.

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