CBC Sports Opinion Column – Written By TMU Journalism Lecturer – Suggests Israel Should Be Kicked Out Of Olympics

February 16, 2024

Pity the journalism students at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU).

Among the program’s lecturers are Shenaz Kermalli, who has written a commentary tacitly defending the Houthi terrorist movementand Ginella Massa, a former CBC News host who, after Hamas’ October 7 massacre, engaged in victim-blaming.

Shireen Ahmed is yet another member of that ignoble cadre.

Ahmed, a senior contributor to CBC News, also teaches sports journalism and sports media at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). And along with Massa and Kermalli, Ahmed is also a signatory to an open letter by a group of Canadian ‘journalists’ in the fall of 2023, which called for more pro-Palestinian content in the news media, and which attempted to downplay Hamas’ massacre as part of a larger context.

In her February 14 opinion column published by CBC Sports entitled: “The IOC needs to prepare itself for inevitable impact of Israel-Palestine conflict on Paris Olympics,” Ahmed called for the International Olympic Commission (IOC) to penalize Israel at the upcoming summer Olympic Games in Paris.

Concocting a scandal, Ahmed writes that “for years, sports tried not to be political, but this seems impossible these days…with athletes calling for a ceasefire and organizations and federations in the global community calling for Israel to be banned by FIFA from soccer altogether, things are reaching a boiling point.”

Ahmed then asks the rhetorical question: “Is the answer to ban Israeli athletes from international competition?”

With this clever rhetoric, Ahmed has been able to position her commentary as a thoughtful evaluation on a complex reality, rather than what it really is: adding her name to the irresponsible and fringe calls for Israel to be censured in international sport.

Israel, a liberal democracy, is fighting an Iranian-backed Islamic terrorist group that has promised to violently destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic theocratic dictatorship, but by writing a column on the supposed controversy of keeping Israel in the Olympic Games, and promoting the concept, she has given it credibility when it deserves none.

Ahmed raised the possibility of Israeli athletes participating under a ‘neutral flag,’ but this option is a distinction without a difference. Rather than ignoring calls to censure a democratic state fighting a genocidal menace, Ahmed used her voice to disingenuously portray Israel as the villain.

In her column, Ahmed also misrepresented the recent interim ruling from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

“It feels wrong to ban athletes from an event like the Olympics that’s meant to unite the world through sport,” Ahmed wrote. “But it also feels unacceptable to permit a country to participate while it is engaging in what the International Court of Justice has deemed to be perilously close to genocide without any accountability to the world.”

Israel is not committing genocide, nor did the ICJ make that accusation. In fact, the ICJ refused to honour the key demand made by South Africa when it brought the case to the world court: namely, that it halt Israel’s counter-terrorism operations and force an immediate ceasefire.

Had the ICJ seen evidence of genocide, it would have surely called for a ceasefire, which it did not do. Instead, the court simply reminded Israel to take precautions to minimize civilian casualties; steps which Israel is already taking, even at significant cost.

Months before the Summer Olympics in Paris, Shireen Ahmed’s opinion column for CBC Sports gave column inches to a different sort of competition: the grievance Olympics, where anti-Israel activists seek any opportunity to defame Israel in a pitiful attempt to delegitimize it. Shamefully, Ahmed’s column sought to give this campaign credibility, while our public broadcaster gave her a platform to spread her noxious views.

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