CTV & CBC News Breathlessly Report On Ottawa Woman’s Hijab Being Pulled – Downplaying That She Was Chanting Pro-Genocidal Slogans Against Israel

On May 14, despite attempts by anti-Israel activists to have it cancelled, a flag-raising ceremony marking Israel’s independence day was held at Ottawa’s city hall.

However, that did not stop a small group of miscreants from attempting to disrupt the event.

At one point, one woman, Hafya Abdelhaleq, was seen waving a Palestinian flag and chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a popular chant at anti-Israel rallies which clearly calls for the destruction of Israel.

As she was seen repeating the genocidal chant, an individual behind her appallingly pulls off her hijab, or Islamic headscarf.

And while that shameful act has attracted significant media attention in Ottawa, coverage has left much to be desired.

In one report for CTV News broadcast on May 18, reporter Katelyn Wilson told viewers that Abdelhaleq, following the altercation, was “fighting back what should be tears of joy” because her son was going to be married on the day of the incident, raising questions as to why she was “protesting a flag raising ceremony” in the mid-afternoon.

Abdelhaleq, crying for the camera, told Wilson that it is as if “someone attacked your dignity.”

Yet despite Abdelhaleq admitting that she was chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” Wilson never bothered to provide any context for viewers indicating that those words are an unmistakable call for the violent destruction of Israel, and should certainly be seen as hate speech.

While that does not justify the abhorrent actions of pulling off the religious headgear of an individual, it certainly is critical to mention that Abdelhaleq was glorifying genocide against Jews at the time. Abdelhaleq’s Instagram page is replete with footage from anti-Israel demonstrations, including one featuring an inverted red triangle, a symbol indicating support for Hamas, showing her to be anything but an innocent bystander, but a regular participant at pro-Hamas rallies.

While acts of pulling of hijabs are extraordinarily rare, calls for the genocide of Israelis with chants like Abdelhaleq’s are far more common, and widely ignored by news media outlets.

Even in the introduction to the segment, the host reported that Abdelhaleq was present at a “pro-Palestinian demonstration.” In fact, she was a counter-protester on a mission to clearly disrupt a lawful event marking Israel’s independence.

Unfortunately, in the CTV News report, one woman’s isolated incident was given hyper-focus, and the hateful words she was spouting immediately beforehand were entirely whitewashed.

In another report published May 18 by CBC News entitled: “Police investigate after woman’s hijab pulled off at pro-Palestinian demonstration,” writer Safiyah Marnhouj, who incidentally also wears a hijab, reported on the incident, telling readers that, in the video of the altercation, “Abdelkhaleq can be seen waving a large Palestinian flag with the words ‘Free Palestine’ on it. She’s heard chanting, ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.’”

Like Wilson, Marnhouj did not provide any context on the genocidal background on Abdelhaleq’s chant, saying nothing more about it.

However, Marnhouj did give extended sympathy for Abdelhaleq, quoting the demonstrator as saying that “I feel really down. She humiliated me. I can’t sleep normal, I can’t eat normal, I’m not functioning normally.”

While the actions against Abdelhaleq cannot be justified, but by failing to tell readers that she was attempting to disrupt a peaceful gathering in Ottawa by spouting genocidal chants against Israel, Abdelhaleq, far from being a simple bystander, was in fact thoroughly engaged in hateful activity.

For their part, both CBC News and CTV News were complicit in downplaying and sanitizing Abdelhaleq’s pro-genocidal chant of “from the river to the sea.”


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