CTV News Atlantic Whitewashes Fringe Anti-Israel Campus Occupation

If there is one thing that the tiny anti-Israel campus occupations have accomplished, it isn’t to move the needle on political solutions, but to gain the attention of media newsrooms.

A big check mark for success, in that regard.

CTV News’ Atlantic Canada bureau published a report by Natalie Lombard on May 14 entitled: “Pro-Palestinian encampment set up at Halifax’s Dalhousie University.”

In its accompanying video broadcast by journalist Hafa Arif, an unidentified masked anti-Israel activist spoke on camera of how she promoted divestment from “any (sic) settler-colonial occupation.”

One presumes this was code for Israel, as – of course – the sole country in the world to fit that description, a profoundly anti-intellectual statement given that Israel was actually de-colonized of its indigenous people, the Jews.

The report said “more than a dozen tents” were set up at the campus, which “appears to be organized by the group Students for the Liberation of Palestine – Kjipuktuk (Halifax).” Of the 21,000-strong student body, the encampment appears to represent a tiny fraction of a percent of that group.

CTV, it appears, held back about what was really on the group’s Instagram page, only paraphrasing that it was interested in having universities: “disclose and divest from any investments they say are complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestine.” More seriously, the wording on their social media channel actually spoke of its “demands for our universities who are complicit in upholding Israel’s genocidal occupation of Palestine.”

Big difference. Why the whitewashing, minimization, and selective quoting? Perhaps it is because concealing and glossing over these items lends itself to the obscuring of unpleasant truths.

CTV, by whitewashing the group’s bellicose and ignorant comments accusing Israel of genocide, in effect make the group look respectable and not members of a fringe group.

Most problematically, the CTV News report entirely omitted any dissenting voices in coverage of the anti-Israel gatherings. It seems odd not to hear perspectives from critics within the Jewish community, perhaps representatives from the local Hillel or a dissenting student, to ensure journalistic balance and objectivity.

Even as such anti-Israel campus occupations have been sources of violence, harassment, intimidation, support for Islamic terrorism and more, the CTV News report, whether intentionally or simply as a result of sloppy journalistic practice, failed to report the truth of the situation, and instead gave a sanitized and one-sided picture of Halifax’s anti-Israel encampment.


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