CityNews Winnipeg Gives Anti-Israel Activists An Unchallenged Platform To Accuse Israel Of Genocide

Another tiny anti-Israel campus occupation, another glowing report from a news broadcaster sanitizing hateful disinformation.

In a May 16 broadcast from CityNews entitled: “UM encampment commemorates 76th Nakba Day,” reporter Joanne Roberts told viewers about a small protest with “dozens of people” at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, to commemorate the so-called “Nakba Day.”

As Roberts reported, “Nakba Day” marks “the day where in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled, driven out of their homes in the war over Israel’s creation.”

Robert is correct, in that Nakba Day, which means ‘catastrophe’ day in Arabic, is used by anti-Israel activists to refer to Israel’s independence 76 years ago, in 1948, and that it marks the exodus of large numbers from Israel at that time.

However, Roberts omitted some very key details. In 1947, the United Nations proposed a partition plan which sought to divide historic Israel into an Arab and Jewish state, respectively, a plan which the Jewish delegates accepted and the Arab delegates vehemently rejected.

The following year, “the war over Israel’s creation” took place, as Roberts put it, but it did not simply take place out of thin air. Immediately after the Jewish State declared its independence, its Arab neighbours declared war and soon attacked the tiny country, seeking to annihilate it,  intent to carry out another Holocaust, just three years after six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis across Europe.

However, what Roberts did not share with viewers is that most Arabs who left Israel did not do so because they were forced by Israel, but rather because they were encouraged by Arab leaders, who told them to leave temporarily, and once Israel was destroyed, they could soon return to their homes.

Those details are not inconsequential; Israel willingly let its land be divided for the sake of peace, which was rejected by its neighbours, who instead of accepting Israel’s existence, sought to destroy it, and have spent nearly 80 years complaining about Israel’s very existence in a pitiful display of chosen victimhood.

As for the protest, although it took place at the University of Manitoba, footage from Roberts’ report showed a large number of the “dozens” of people, perhaps even most of them, are clearly older and quite likely not students at the institution, inline with the trends seen elsewhere in Canada, that the campus occupations are largely made up of non-students, despite the protests being framed as student-led and organized.

In the report, Roberts said that participants in the protest were there to “show solidarity to the Palestinian community,” but the demonstration – like others across North America – are far better described as being anti-Israel, not pro-Palestinian.

Signage accusing Israel of committing genocide, exhorting the university to divest from Israel, and claiming that the Jewish State is guilty of “massacres,” indicate that the protesters are less concerned about Palestinian rights than they are driven by animus towards Israel.

While it is entirely the prerogative of CityNews to report on an insignificant protest on campus, despite it made up of many non-students, reporter Joanne Roberts nevertheless failed to provide viewers with a fulsome picture of the protest, and instead turned the broadcast into an unfettered platform for demonstrators to share their conspiracy theories with no challenge offered at all.


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