CBC Radio Program Front Burner Back With Another Anti-Israel Episode, With Guest Accusing Israel Of “Indiscriminate” Attacks & False Claims

June 10, 2024

In its fourth anti-Israel episode in May (out of only 22 total), Front Burner, a CBC radio program, devoted nearly half an hour to depicting Israel as an out-of-control country wantonly committing human rights abuses.

The May 31 episode entitled: “When Israel investigates itself, what happens?” saw host Jayme Poisson interview Kenneth Roth, a former executive director of Human Rights Watch and a longtime and vocal critic of Israel, for his predictable answers regarding Israel’s conduct in war.

Listen to the full episode now:

The episode began with Poisson telling listeners about a May 26 fire in southern Gaza at a tent encampment, saying that “an Israeli airstrike on a tent camp for displaced people in Rafah in southern Gaza started a fire.”

Poisson’s statement is wrong. Israel did not strike a tent area according to preliminary investigations, as satellite imagery shows, but a closed structure hundreds of feet away, and nearly two kilometres away from a designated humanitarian zone.

Although Poisson did acknowledge that Israel points out its weapons were too small to start such a fire, and that it was sparked by a Hamas weapons depot, Poisson’s inaccurate statement about the location of Israel’s strike implants a false and destructive image in the ears of listeners.

In his comments, Roth repeated this factual error, saying “what is Israel doing targeting anything in the middle of this densely populated tent camp filled with people who had been just displaced from Rafah…”

Most of the conversation between Roth and Poisson surrounded around Roth’s contention that Israel’s internal investigations “hardly ever examine the rules of engagement” used by the Israeli military, alleging that “Israel’s fought this entire war in Gaza with a set of rules of engagement that are very permissive about civilian casualties indeed.”

It is unclear what war Roth is referring to, but making the claim that Israel has been “very permissive about civilian casualties” is flagrantly wrong.

Israel has taken more pains to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza than any military in modern history, and as a result, has achieved a lower percentage of civilian casualties than perhaps any armed conflict in recent memory and arguably, in the history of modern warfare, according to one of the world’s top experts in urban warfare, John Spencer.

But instead of citing experts with an understanding of what is actually happening on the ground, Roth quoted “a recent media report,” claiming that Israel is permitting “ratios of 1 to 15 or 1 to 20 for combatant to civilian deaths.”

While “media reports” abound, that does not make them reflective of reality. In Gaza, as many as half of deaths in Gaza have been combatants, an unprecedented and low ratio that speaks to Israel’s extraordinary efforts to minimize civilian casualties, even in a densely-populated urban area where Hamas terrorists actively embed themselves with civilians.

Elsewhere in the interview, Roth regurgitated baseless accusations from the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing Israel of engaging in a “deliberate starvation strategy.” Roth is apparently unaware – as is Poisson – that more food has entered Gaza, facilitated by Israel, on a daily basis since Hamas’ massacres on October 7 than was entering beforehand.

Incredibly, despite a total absence of evidence, and proof to the contrary, Roth’s disinformation was allowed to stand.

Common among armchair generals, the discussion was conducted by Poisson lobbing soft-ball questions at Roth, who then characterized Israel’s counter-terrorism measures as “indiscriminate” and “disproportionate,” while not once offering any solutions as to how Israel could seek to protect its population from a genocidal terrorist group.

For Front Burner, the obsessive focus on Israel is apparent. Even in this segment, Hamas was mentioned nine times, while Israel merited a total of 67 mentions.

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