CBC Winnipeg Radio Program Features Law Professor As Guest Demanding Government Investigate Those Who Join Israeli Military

On the April 24 episode of the CBC radio program “Up to Speed with Faith Fundal” guest Nathan Derejko, a law professor at the University of Manitoba, alleged that “Canada is failing its international obligations” regarding the Israel-Hamas war.

The broadcast opened with Derejko alleging that all countries – not just those involved in a conflict – have an obligation to uphold international humanitarian laws. He argued that the international debate taking place in various places and under the auspices of various bodies (like the International Court of Justice) demonstrates that there are “a broad range” of steps that Canada should be taking, but isn’t, when it comes to the war in Gaza.

Listen to the full segment below:

Leaving aside his convenient failure to acknowledge that all of these so-called ‘debates’ or investigations have failed to turn up any evidence of the war crimes or genocide that he is bent on pinning on Israel, he first cited seemingly innocent suggestions that Canada should be doing, like calling for unrestricted humanitarian aid, or “independent investigations” (into what, he never said). However, he went on to present a much more insidious, and indeed incredibly troubling and irresponsible, suggestion: that Canada should be tracking and “searching for” Canadians who travel to Israel to fight in the Israeli military, and “using its own laws to hold [these individuals] accountable”.

This is a shocking suggestion, since the laws he is presumably referring to have to do with those who travel to engage in military activity with listed terrorist entities – things like ISIS or indeed Hamas – the very people that the IDF is fighting against. The idea that a law professor at a Canadian university would use his position to suggest that Canadians traveling to fight for one of Canada’s democratic allied states against Hamas, a terrorist entity bent on committing mass genocide against Jews, should face legal repercussions akin to those joining the cause of terrorists is grotesque.

The interview continued with Derejko expressing his confusion about why Canada would respond so strongly in the days and weeks following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and why the government chose to take such a clear and strong response against Russia, but is refusing to do so in this case, against Israel.

Why indeed.

He called it a “shocking display of hypocrisy and double standards.” Ironically, nothing could be further from the truth. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was an unprovoked attack on one sovereign nation by another. Similarly, the current war between Israel and Hamas began on October 7, when Hamas attacked Israel, slaughtering, injuring and raping thousands of civilians, and kidnapping hundreds more, in an effort to ethnically cleanse the indigenous Jews from the region.

In light of the actual facts of the two conflicts, Canada’s response is consistent and expected. Why would Canada level sanctions against the aggressor in the case of Russia, but be expected to take the side of the aggressor in the case of Hamas?

Incredibly, at no time during the interview was Derejko ever pushed back by CBC Host Faith Fundal, or at the very least were listeners provided with any context. Instead, his falsehoods were able to stand on their own, entirely unchallenged.

Throughout the interview, he referred to the conflict as a war between “Israel and Palestine.” This is troublingly ill-informed for someone who claims to be an expert on human rights law and presents himself as an authority on this particular region. “Palestine” is not a nation state, and thus not a state actor in the same way that Russia or Canada is. Similarly, Hamas is not a state actor, but a listed terror group. The idea that the current conflict should be bound under the same laws of engagement and humanitarian law – and that a terrorist group will actually uphold them – is absurd on its face. The fact that terrorists don’t respect humanitarian law and fight dirty is, in fact, a defining feature of being a terrorist. This absurd suggestion that Israel has an equal partner in this conflict is monstrous. Indeed, given Derejko’s utter lack of concern for holding Hamas accountable, perhaps he does understand this.

Then again, perhaps not. As evidence for his consternation about why Canada ‘isn’t doing more’, he cites “the discovery of mass graves [and] the targeting of hospitals” – the former, of course, having been quickly and definitively debunked (and, ironically, actually attributed to Hamas) and the latter being shown to be appropriate given hospitals being used to house extensive terror infrastructure. Either Derejko is not as informed as he pretends to be, or he is deliberately ignoring facts and arguing on behalf of a terrorist group, while suggesting that Canada ought to do the same.

Rather than pointing the finger at Hamas, a genocidal Islamic terrorist organization, Israel was the only target of Derejko’s ire, and at no time during the interview was he challenged by his host, Faith Fundal.

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