CBC Reporter Chris Brown Rationalizes & Romanticizes Palestinian Terrorism

March 17, 2023

On March 17, CBC News.ca published a report entitled: Suffocated by Israeli Occupation, a new generation of Palestinian militants takes up the fight,” by Foreign Correspondent Chris Brown, who in our view, egregiously whitewashed, rationalized and romanticized violent Palestinian terrorism.

Brown has been the subject of a number of HonestReporting Canada alerts (see here, here and here) in recent days due to his sympathetic portrayal of Palestinian terrorism.

The outlandish, subjective and partisan headline by the CBC – “Suffocated by Israeli Occupation” – only served as a preview of what’s to come, but it’s important to stress that this headline was not in attribution to Palestinian sources, but was a statement made by the CBC itself.

Early in his report, Brown referred to a Palestinian song praising “those resisting Israeli occupation,” referring to Wadee al-Houh, the 31-year-old co-founder of Lion’s Den, a Palestinian terrorist group, which has been involved in a growing number of deadly attacks on Israelis. Importantly, “resistance” is a Palestinian euphemism to cloak and justify Palestinian terror attacks, whether in the form of suicide bombings, rocket attacks, stabbing rampages, or shootings.

Back to al-Houh, he was killed in 2022 during a firefight with Israeli troops, and despite Brown’s usage of the term “resisting,” which conceals the true, deadly nature of Palestinian terrorism, al-Houh was actively involved in violent attacks against Israel, including a shooting attack which killed an Israeli.

Brown’s report also omitted a number of key facts which deprived the reader from a full understanding of violence being carried out in Israel and Judea & Samaria (often called the “west bank” by the news media).

With respect to the Lion’s Den, Brown errantly said: “While Israeli soldiers are the group’s main target, militias like the Lion’s Den also pose a serious political challenge to the legitimacy of the Palestinian leadership.”

And yet, Brown ignored how the group has carried out scores of attacks on Israeli civilians, as noted by HonestReporting:

• On September 9, 2022, Israeli security forces thwarted a large-scale attack in Tel Aviv, arresting a Lions’ Den operative carrying a rifle, explosives, and the terror group’s flag.

• In two separate West Bank shootings on October 2, 2022, the Lions’ Den injured an Israeli taxi driver and an IDF soldier.

• The organization has taken credit for indiscriminate gunfire directed at the Jewish community of Har Bracha, located south of Nablus.

•The Lions’ Den is also believed to have been responsible for placing a bomb at the Kedumim gas station in the fall of that year.

Brown continued to mislead by writing that “On Thursday, an Israeli army raid killed at least four Palestinians, including a teenager, in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.” What Brown failed to mention was that at least two of the four deceased Palestinians were known senior members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hamas, prominent Palestinian Islamist terrorist groups. The third Palestinian was killed, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) after he attacked soldiers with a sledgehammer.

Why did Brown choose to not mention these critical details in his report? Failing to do so gave readers the blatantly wrong impression that Israel attacks Palestinian civilians for no apparent purpose, when the truth is that Palestinian violent terrorism is the cause of Israel’s security measures.

In another case, Brown mentioned Abdul-Karim Badie Sheikh, a 21-year-old Palestinian, who he writes “was shot dead by an Israeli settler after the settler claimed the man came onto his property and tried to plant a bomb,” though his “family disputes this, saying the settler was the aggressor.” While Brown portrays Sheikh’s death as a “he said, she said” case, a previous news report from Brown shows that Sheikh was also armed with knives as he infiltrated an Israeli settlement, clearly showing that he had weapons and likely intent to kill.

In one paragraph, Brown neglected to report a number of key details, as he has done repeatedly in recent weeks. Brown said: “The Palestinian Health Authority says at least 88 Palestinians have been killed so far this year, while the IDF says attacks by militants have killed 14 people, with confrontations now occurring on an almost daily basis.”

In this paragraph, Brown created a false equivalence of casualties among both Israelis and Palestinians. Not only did Brown not identify the “14 people” killed by Palestinian terrorists as nearly all Israeli civilians, all of whom were attacked not in the context of any armed combat, and also doesn’t mention that of the corresponding “88 Palestinians” killed in 2023, a large majority were involved in terrorist activities.

In short, to report on deaths, as Brown has done, without specifying that one side’s casualties are largely civilian deaths while the other side is combatant deaths, presented an extremely distorted picture.

These manifold omissions notwithstanding, the major fatal flaw in Brown’s reporting was his depiction of deadly Palestinian terrorism as nothing more than a natural consequence of Palestinians being “Suffocated by Israeli occupation” and due to “Israel’s new ultraconservative government,” and settlement expansion, which Brown identifies as the main culprits, according to Palestinian leaders.

And while the leadership of the Palestinians, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose regime actively incites hatred and violence against Israelis while funding the families of terrorists – or as Brown bizarrely refers to him, “his decades-long calls for a peaceful solution” – do certainly pin the blame of Palestinian violence on Israel, there is no excuse for simply repeating such propaganda.

The defense that Israel is really to blame when a Palestinian picks up a gun and shoots two brothers driving in their car, or guns down seven Israelis outside a synagogue in Jerusalem on the Jewish Sabbath, or when a 31-year-old Palestinian intentionally rams his car into an Israeli bus stop, murdering a six-year-old boy and a 20-year-old, is not a matter of opinion or subjectivity. It is little more than a baseless attempt to rationalize and even justify the murders of innocent people.

Brown concludes his report by saying: “Twice, in the 1980s and again in the early 2000s, Palestinians rose up in a society-wide effort known as an intifada to fight the Israeli occupation.” Untold to CBC readers, the two “Intifadas” saw over 1,000 Israelis murdered in cold blood thanks to Palestinians who he depicts are those who “rose up” in this “society-wide effort,” which Brown failed to acknowledge included mass casualty suicide bombings, gun rampages, and other terror attacks on innocent Israeli men, women and children.

Not only is there no justification for these wanton and gruesome murders of innocent Israelis at the hands of Palestinian terrorists, but giving uncritical column inches to these defences, using absurd terms like “resisting” and by failing to identify deceased Palestinians as violent terrorists, only served to muddy the waters between culprit and victim, terrorism and counter-terrorism and combatant and civilian.

There is no justification for terrorism. In the civilized world, when nations or people have disputes, they settle them through diplomacy as the only acceptable method of statecraft, not barbarism that’s employed by Palestinian terrorists.

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