CBC Radio’s Day 6 Program Gives Platform To “Nakba” Day Calls For Israel’s Destruction

As Israel recently celebrated its 75th anniversary, anti-Israel activists around the world have marked the occasion with “Nakba Day” demonstrations, protesting Israel’s very existence.

Nakba, meaning “Catastrophe” in Arabic, refers to the date when Israel achieved its independence in 1948, helping to fulfill the dream of the Jewish People’s self-determination in their historical homeland. But for those who use this term, it’s aimed at demonizing the Jewish State and casting aspersions on its right to exist.

While anti-Israel campaigners use this term, it was therefore unfortunate that the May 19 segment of Day 6, a CBC radio program, not only highlighted a “Nakba Day” event and provided it with undeserved credibility, but also offered a platform to an interview subject who deliberately delegitimized Israel’s right to exist.

Host Brent Bambury introduced the segment by defining the “nakba” as referring “to the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians from their land at the time of Israel’s founding in 1948.”

While this is indeed the definition used by Palestinians, the problem is not with Bambury’s definition, per se. It is with the very concept of legitimizing a concept which aims to erase the Jewish People’s three thousand-year history with their land, instead depicting Israel’s independence in 1948 as a foreign invasion on the Palestinians.

Antoine Raffoul is a Palestinian artist based in Rome whose exhibit was the subject of the radio segment, and he also made a number of egregiously false statements about Israel’s founding.

In his remarks, which were accompanied by sombre instrumental music, Raffoul compared Israel to apartheid South Africa, saying: “I am believing very strongly…that the nakba will be resolved. A democratic society with equal rights for everyone, just like what happened in south Africa. And even more, because we have the benefit of learning from that society.”

To listen to the segment in full, please click here or below:

 

The comparison of Israel to apartheid South Africa, while popular among those who seek to demonize Israel, have little basis in reality.

Unlike apartheid-era South Africa, all citizens of Israel, be they Jews or non-Jews, are treated equally under the eyes of the law. In South Africa during the time of apartheid, black citizens could not live with their white peers, could not stand for election nor vote for their leaders. The situation simply could not be more different.

Nor does Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians constitute apartheid. The Palestinian Authority (PA) is not Israel, and it is the PA which is responsible for the well-being of its own citizens, who pay taxes to their leaders. Despite Israel’s offers of peace to the Palestinian leadership, the answer has continued to be violence and rejection of Israel.

In Bambury’s introduction of Raffoul, who was born in Haifa prior to Israel’s independence in 1948, Bambury said that the nakba recognizes “the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians from their land.”

But who exactly did the displacing of the Arabs of Haifa? And why did the CBC not mention that the land at the time was under the British Mandate, and was not a sovereign Palestinian state? While proponents of “Nakba Day” would claim the culprit is Israel, the reality is quite different.

As Time Magazine reported at the time, local Arab leaders played a very significant role in helping to expel Arabs from the city of Haifa during the time of Israel’s independence.

“The mass evacuation, prompted partly by fear, partly by orders of Arab leaders, left the Arab quarter of Haifa a ghost city….By withdrawing Arab workers their leaders hoped to paralyze Haifa,” the magazine reported.

Raffoul, who is the co-founder of 1948.Lest.We.Forget., a group which describes itself as being “a campaign group aiming at the roots of the Palestinian/Israeli problem,” has made no secret of his vision of the destruction of Israel as a Jewish State.

On his campaign’s website, one of the listed goals is “To call for the Right of Return of all Palestinian refugees to their homes in all of historic Palestine.”

The “right of return” of millions of Palestinians whose ancestors left Israel in 1948 is a non-starter for a number of reasons.

Firstly, many of those who left did so under their own volition, or threats from Arab leaders, not as a result of threats from Israel.

Secondly, after 75 years, the descendants of those who left have been used as bargaining chips by Arab states, who have refused to integrate them into their respective societies, as world powers did with European refugees after World War Two.

Thirdly, the influx of millions of descendants of refugees would instantly spell the end of Israel as a democratic state.

Finally, these descendants of Palestinian refugees could have potentially moved to a Palestinian state, had the Palestinian Authority ever accepted Israel’s offers of peace, but they have chosen to pursue rejectionism and conflict instead.

Hosting this anti-Israel extremist is not the first time that CBC Day 6’s Brent Bambury has given a platform to anti-Israel content. In December, 2022, he profiled a documentary film which purported that Israel’s creation as an independent state in 1948 was based on ethnic cleansing, even after another CBC radio program had profiled the same film.

Why is CBC’s Brent Bambury giving such continued coverage to anti-Israel disinformation, particularly “Nakba” day narratives that protest against Israel’s right to exist?

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