CBC News Report On Israeli “Settler Violence In The West Bank” Condemns Israeli Violence While Seeking “Understanding” Of Palestinian Violence

November 15, 2023

Although southern Israel and the Gaza Strip have been at the fulcrum of violence since Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack, conflict has also spread throughout the region, including Hezbollah attacks from southern Lebanon, rockets fired from Houthi rebels in Yemen, as well as violence in Judea & Samaria (often called the “West Bank” by news media outlets).

A November 14 broadcast on CBC News titled: “Palestinians face escalating settler violence in the West Bank,” sought to shed light on the violence taking place there, but its focus was almost entirely one-sided on Israel.

During the broadcast, the narrator told viewers that “Israelis in the West Bank are called settlers because they live in the Palestinian territory illegally according to international law.” While statements like these have been repeated ad nauseum by news media outlets, they do not stand up to scrutiny. Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria do not, in fact, violate international law, given that prior to the current Israeli inhabitants, there was no sovereign Palestinian state that could have laid claim to the lands in question. The country which did possess the lands previously, Jordan, signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1994, giving up any claims which it might otherwise make.

The broadcast’s problems only begin with factual errors; worse yet is the twisted moral logic presented by the news report.

The narrator told viewers that “Vigilante style settler attacks there have doubled from last year,” and reports that eight Palestinians have died since October 7 in attacks from Israeli settlers.

However, only into the last 40 seconds of the three minute broadcast, the narrator shared that “Palestinian anger is boiling over,” before reporting that three Israelis have also been killed by Palestinians during the same period.

Thus, according to CBC News, when Israeli settlers attack Palestinian civilians, it’s “vigilante style” violence, but when Palestinians attack Israeli civilians, it’s the “boiling over” of “Palestinian anger.”

Lest that point be too subtle, the narrator added that “Some say the escalations and violence are encouraging some Palestinians in the West Bank to support Hamas, or at the very least, an armed uprising.”

The report also featured comments by Matt Duss, vice president with the Centre for International Policy, who said that “in a situation of no hope, under military occupation, violence is one of the few things that’s actually on offer,” though he described it as a “tragic situation” and “that is certainly not to defend that violence at all.”

Yet earlier in the broadcast, Duss explained Israeli violence against Palestinians by saying “part of the rage that many Israelis feel quite understandably about October 7 is being taken out by settlers on Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.”

The message portrayed by the CBC News report was clear: that when Israelis attack Palestinian civilians, they are morally reprehensible and indefensible acts of violence, misdirected towards innocent people, but when Palestinians attack Israeli civilians, it is a natural consequence of Israeli government policies.

When an innocent civilian is intentionally targeted for harm, whether they are Israeli or Palestinian, it is morally wrong, and no matter what reasoning is marshalled by the perpetrators to justify the violence, it needs to be roundly condemned without the need to offer an “understanding” as to why violence against civilians is taking place.

This moral morass doesn’t only apply in the West Bank, but in Gaza, too. Hamas, the genocidal Islamic terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s violent destruction, may cite Israel’s non-existent “occupation” of the Gaza Strip as its rationale to global media for its terrorism, but the group’s supporters are not motivated by a lack of hope; on the contrary, it is the hope that their violence may eventually destroy Israel which motivates them to carry on their heinous crimes against humanity.

It’s time CBC News stop applying a double standard to violence against Palestinians and Israeli civilians.

HonestReporting Canada has lodged a complaint with the CBC, and you should too. Send complaints to CBC Editor-in-Chief Brodie Fenlon: Brodie.Fenlon@cbc.ca.

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