CBC Radio Program As It Happens Features Three Anti-Israel Interviews In Two Days

April 15, 2024

Anti-Israel media bias doesn’t always manifest with the spreading of indefensible lies. Sometimes, bias takes place when a news media outlet simply chooses to focus its coverage overwhelmingly or exclusively with a very particular lens critical of Israel.

The CBC radio program As It Happens has done exactly that, with three anti-Israel interviews in two days.

On April 9, hosts Chris Howden and Nil Köksal spoke with Tal Mitnick, an Israeli 18-year old “conscientious objector” who has refused to participate in mandatory military service, citing the alleged “apartheid, the system of occupation” of which he accuses Israel.

Even as Köksal mentioned in passing that only three Israeli teenagers have thus far publicly refused to participate in military service in opposition to the Hamas-Israel war, the radio program’s decision to platform a tiny minority reflected a clear editorial direction.

While there are widespread disagreements within Israeli society about the best course of action in the war ­­– prioritizing defeating Hamas versus freeing the hostages kidnapped in Gaza – Mitnick expressed views which can only be described as out of touch with reality, and certainly, within Israeli society.

He told the hosts that “the only thing that will bring us security is demilitarization,” or the complete disassemblement of the Israeli military, a position which would leave Israel entirely unable to defend itself against the genocidal attempts by terrorist groups like Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hezbollah to massacre Israeli civilians.

In contrast to Mitnick’s views, almost 90 percent of Israelis recently polled say they have high trust in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

While the decision to platform Mitnick could perhaps be seen most charitably as a “man bites dog” decision for As It Happens, meaning he was interviewed simply because he was so fringe and unusual, the ongoing anti-Israel agenda becomes clearer with the rest of the week’s interviews.

In the same broadcast, Howden and Köksal interviewed Carlos José Argüello Gómez, the ambassador of Nicaragua to the Netherlands. Nicaragua has taken Germany to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague because of Germany’s military aid to Israel, in a further weaponization of the world court by anti-Israel actors.

During the interview, Gómez accused Israel of carrying out a genocide “against the Palestinians,” a reckless and groundless statement that was not challenged by either of the radio program’s hosts, neither of whom mentioned the extensive and unparalleled steps Israel is taking to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza.

Even after two anti-Israel interviews in a single day, on April 10, As It Happens was back with another segment, speaking with Hisham Mehanna, a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The interview featured Mehanna speaking about how the impact of the Hamas-Israel war in Gaza has made for a more sombre Muslim holiday of Eid al Fitr in the territory. That simplistic narrative has been common in recent days, but misses the inescapable reality that the war and the ensuing human suffering on both sides can be ended immediately if Hamas surrenders and releases the Israeli hostages that the terrorist group is holding.

Incredibly, the word Hamas remained unsaid even a single time during the interview, entirely ignoring the single biggest culprit behind the war.

As It Happens has been a repeat offender in focusing on anti-Israel narratives. In recent weeks alone, the radio program featured “humanitarian” guests who falsely accused Israel of blocking aid into Gaza, discussion with Palestinian-Americans who promoted anti-Israel propaganda without challenge, and which covered the humanitarian aid situation in Gaza, while ignoring Hamas theft of aid.

The April 9 and 10 episodes of As It Happens, which featured three interviewees hostile to Israel, reflected no balance or broad perspective, and instead were just the latest episodes in a fixation to cover stories with an anti-Israel lens.

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