CBC Radio Program The Sunday Magazine Features Palestinian Chef Who Predictably Parrots Anti-Israel Propaganda – With No Pushback From Host

June 26, 2024

In the June 23 edition of CBC’s The Sunday Magazine radio program, host Piya Chattopadhyay interviewed Palestinian chef Fadi Kattan for a discussion ostensibly on “documenting and preserving Palestinian food culture,” according to the segment’s blurb.

However, the conversation devolved into a free forum to share anti-Israel views on the Hamas-Israel war, both overtly and covertly.

Listen to the full segment:

Chattopadhyay and Kattan overtly concurred on various tired and defamatory accusations against Israel, including genocide and starvation of Gazans, as well as alleging limited humanitarian access. They refused even a nod toward anything approaching editorial balance, presenting no context from the Israeli perspective.

Rather more insidious was Kattan’s deletion of Hamas’s atrocities and genocidal intent against Israel. When bemoaning the impact of the Hamas-Israel war on Bethlehem and Judea & Samaria (commonly called the “West Bank” by news media outlets), Kattan said that “for a farmer from the village of Nahalin South of Bethlehem…it used to take them 20 minutes to come to Bethlehem. Today they leave. They may face an Israeli checkpoint that is open or closed, it may take them the whole day, they may also cross in 20 minutes.” He also said that “tourism stopped literally on the night of the 7th October.”

Shockingly, at no point did Kattan or his host Chattopadhyay even reference the reason for these issues: Hamas’ invasion of Israel on October 7 that started the war. Hamas, along with willing Gazan civilians, invaded Israel, burning, raping, murdering, dismembering 1,200 Israeli innocents, and taking over 250 hostages, 120 of whom remain in Hamas captivity. Hamas has clearly stated its intent to repeat the massacre and atrocities multiple times until Israel is annihilated. Israel has therefore been forced into a fight for its very survival. But this duo conveniently left this out, insulting the victims and misinforming their audience.

Kattan continued talking about Palestinian produce, saying “the oldest commercial wine was exported by a city that you wouldn’t today associate with wine export because it’s going through a genocide: Gaza”. This bald-faced statement is a grotesque assault on the truth. While Kattan failed to provide any evidence, this allegation is usually based on the Gaza Health Ministry’s casualty figures. These figures – from a Hamas-run organization – do not differentiate between combatants and civilians and include deaths due to natural causes or errant Palestinian fire that killed Palestinians.

The discussion also alleged that Israel is starving Gazan civilians. Kattan said, “I’ll put it again in the context of Gaza because it’s strange to be here talking about food and having two million people being starved. I can’t hear people say the Gazans are starving. They are not. They’re being starved. The Israeli government – they clearly said on 8th October we will not allow food into Gaza and that’s what they’ve been doing.”

What wasn’t mentioned is that despite Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s admittedly bellicose and emotional rhetoric – made 48 hours after the biggest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust – has not become Israeli government policy in the slightest. Instead, Israel’s government policy has been to send huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. More food trucks are entering Gaza post-October 7th than before. Video footage from Gaza supports this, showing markets teeming with food.

Chattopadhyay ignorantly plowed on with her theme, “We know that the restrictions of humanitarian access increased significantly after October 7th. So In June the World Food Program and the FAO – the Food and Agriculture Organization, warned that over one million Palestinians in Gaza could experience the highest level of starvation by the middle of July. So in days, we’re talking about.”

The Famine Review Committee, which conducts reviews on behalf of the IPC – the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification – as a global famine monitoring initiative, did, in mid-March conclude that “famine is now projected and imminent”.

The World Food Program and the FAO based their predictions on this report. However, in early June, the same committee backtracked, saying it did not see evidence of famine. Chattopadhyay’s statement is at best badly researched, and at worst an attempt to mislead listeners.

Chattopadhyay’s broadcast segment is a one-sided forum for her and Kattan’s unsubstantiated anti-Israel views. This is not the first time, either, nor the second or third, calling into question this CBC program’s agenda and bias in its reporting on the Hamas-Israel war.

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