CBC Vancouver Report Falsely Presents Jewish Community As Supporting Anti-Israel Encampments

CBC Vancouver broadcast on May 3 report from journalist Jon Hernandez, where he covered the “pro-Palestinian encampment” at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

In his news report, Hernandez claimed that the demands by UBC encampment organizers include “an end to the war in Gaza, and for UBC to divest from companies complicit in the conflict”. Given that none of the student-led protests anywhere have indicated that they want divestment from organizations or actors complicit in aiding Hamas, the terrorist organization which launched this war with its violent massacres of Israeli civilians on October 7 – and which continues to perpetuate the conflict by refusing to release the Israeli hostages – this characterization is disingenuous at best.

It is similarly dishonest to call these encampments “pro-Palestinian,” when there is very little concern for the day to day life of the actual people of Gaza; rather, the main focus is hostility towards Israel. The UBC encampment, like all the others on campuses across North America, is an anti-Israel one, plain and simple.

In his report, Hernandez falsely told viewers that the Jewish community has “rallied behind” the encampment, a statement that is pure fiction as the mainstream Jewish community in Vancouver overwhelmingly opposes these protests and supports Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas terrorism.

To support this claim, Hernandez interviewed Avi Lewis, a UBC professor and member of Independent Jewish Voices (IJV), a fringe anti-Israel group with a long history of radical agitation. Following Hamas’ terrorist attacks on October 7, IJV released a public statement endorsing the use of violence against Israel.

To suggest that Lewis and the organization he is a part of are representative of anyone except the extreme fringe of the fringe of the Jewish community is ridiculous, and claiming his presence is indicative of “Jewish support” is the worst kind of tokenism.

To further this narrative of supposed Jewish support, Hernandez interviewed a student who claimed that “genocide is not a Jewish value, and not all Jews support the actions of the state of Israel.” And while of course genocide is not a Jewish value, to present it in this way suggests, first, that a genocide is occurring to begin with, which is demonstrably and objectively false. Second, it suggests that Zionists, or those who simply do not want to see the wholesale destruction of Israel (meaning the majority of Jews) erroneously support such actions. This sort of irresponsible journalism sets up a clear division between ‘good Jews’ and ‘bad Jews’, and may help to contribute to the ongoing efforts to demonize Israel and the vast majority of Jews by radical anti-Israel activists present on university campuses.

Notably absent from this report was any discussion with, or representation of, counter-protests or the majority of Jewish students and faculty who do not support these encampments. While CBC is certainly entitled to interview those in support of the illegal anti-Israel occupations of university campuses, it has a duty and a journalistic responsibility to ensure that the criticisms levelled against the protests – noting the violence, intimidation and hate speech – are given central play, as well.

By choosing to completely silence any dissenting voices which could counter the narrative being spun, this CBC report – like so many others from the broadcaster – displays a carefully constructed and false anti-Israel narrative, rather than anything resembling reality.


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