CBC News Interviews Former Israeli Peace Negotiator, Who Blames Israel For War & Says Hamas’ Negotiating Position Is “Not Unreasonable”

March 6, 2024

On March 3, CBC News broadcast a 10-minute interview with Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator, to discuss “the prospects for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.”

The segment, hosted by Marianne Dimain entitled: “What might a negotiated ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas look like?” soon became a platform for Levy to launch into an anti-Israel diatribe.

Watch full CBC segment below:

During their conversation, Levy characterized Israel’s position as “more war,” and referred to the “permanent war vision” of Israel.

In reality, Israel’s stated goals have been very clear: the return of hostages held by Hamas, kidnapped during their October 7 massacre, and the defeat of Hamas as a military threat to Israel.

As Israel’s ambassador to Canada, Iddo Moed, has explained, if Hamas frees the hostages and surrenders, “everything will stop” and the war can end immediately.

When it came to Hamas, however, Levy described the Islamic terrorist group as having “not unreasonable” positions regarding a ceasefire, saying that “the Hamas position is, unless there are guarantees that this is going to be the on-ramp to a permanent ceasefire, there will not be a deal.”

In contrast to Levy’s description of Hamas as wanting a “permanent ceasefire,” he omitted any mention that Hamas, as a result of its fanatical ideological commitment to the violent destruction of Israel, has no interest in any ceasefire that is “permanent.”

Even Gwynne Dyer, a columnist harshly critical of Israel, has conceded that Hamas has no interest in a permanent cessation of violence, only “a short one to catch their breath, maybe.”

Levy told Dimain that, since Hamas launched its war five months ago, Israel has been “indiscriminately targeting civilians,” a demonstrably false statement that ignores the extensive steps Israel is taking to minimize civilian casualties, the widespread use of human shields in Gaza by Hamas, and even the extraordinarily low proportion of civilian to combatant casualties in Gaza, a detail universally overlooked in news media coverage of the war.

Near the end of the broadcast, Dimain asked Levy for his thoughts on long-term prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, namely via the two-state solution.

In response, Levy told his host that the failure of such negotiations was a result of Israel feeling that it “could do everything to undermine a two state outcome, with no costs or consequences.”

In sharp contrast to Levy’s revisionist history, Israel has made painful concessions in a feeble attempt to forge a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

In 2000, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinian leadership an unprecedented deal, including eastern Jerusalem, all of Gaza, and virtually all of Judea & Samaria (West Bank), with the remaining land made up in mutually agreed-upon land swaps.

That deal, despite offering the Palestinian leadership everything it purported to want, was rejected by then-leader Yasser Arafat, who then launched a violent uprising, or intifada, instead.

Five years later, Ariel Sharon, an Israeli prime minister seen as hardline, unilaterally withdrew nearly 10,000 Israelis from the Gaza Strip in an attempt to pave the way for peace. The very next year, Hamas was elected to lead Gaza.

Regardless of what the end result of the current round of negotiations may look like between Israel and Hamas, the fundamental reality is that Hamas will stop at nothing in its quest to destroy Israel, and that Jerusalem, tragically, has little choice but to fight the extremist terrorist group that threatens it. At no time during their conversation did host Marianne Dimain challenge or push back against Daniel Levy’s characterization of Hamas as a reasonable negotiating partner, and Israel as a radical war-monger.

Once again, CBC gave uncritical coverage to anti-Israel arguments. And once again, CBC, in our view, violated its own journalistic standards and practices.

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