Global National Host Farah Nasser Gives A Platform To Hamas Disinformation Without Context

In the May 29 broadcast of Global National, a report entitled: “US-made bombs used in Israeli strike on Rafah camp,” saw host Farah Nasser create a false and misleading narrative regarding the recent deadly and tragic fire incident in the Gaza Strip amidst the Israel-Hamas war.

Opening the show with back to back segments about Israel, both heavily favoring the angles of the anti-Israel perspective, the report gave undue attention and legitimacy to the propagandistic myth that Israel targets civilians and children intentionally, relegating crucial facts that disprove this narrative to passing mentions buried later on.

At the very beginning, Nasser described the incident as an “attack on a Rafah tent camp” and a “strike on a safe zone,” and informed us that the United States is “step[ping] up public warnings … about civilian casualties” and that “munition debris found at the site was remnants of bombs made in the US.” The sum total of this introduction is an image of Israel mercilessly hurting innocent people for no discernable reason.

Despite this framing, however, the report soon contradicted this impression with the real facts, acknowledging that Israel views the incident as a “terrible mistake” and that evidence suggests that the fire in all likelihood was actually “sparked by a secondary explosion” due to the presence of Hamas explosives believed stashed near the tent camp, when the Israeli military “target[ed] and killed two Hamas commanders nearby” —meaning the fire was neither a deliberate “attack” on the camp, nor ultimately the fault of the Israeli side.

Furthermore, the report later acknowledged that the incident has in fact “not shifted American policy” and that the Biden administration does not consider the incident to have “crossed [its] red line.” How can these damning facts be squared with the introductory assertions?

Also missing was context as to why this unfortunate situation is taking place. Israel began its operation in the Gaza neighbourhood of Rafah in May, after months of warning, successful efforts to evacuate the vast majority of civilians, and efforts to negotiate a ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages — which only fell through when Hamas manipulated and defied the deal offer’s basic terms, and instead pulled a fraudulent PR stunt while attacking and killing a group of Israeli soldiers who were facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

The goals of the Rafah operation (which has been reported as limited and targeted in nature, rather than full-scale) are to defeat Hamas terrorist battalions based in the city, to prevent the smuggling of weapons into the hands of Hamas through the international border with Egypt, and to seek to locate and rescue Israeli hostages and eliminate Hamas leadership. All of these are legitimate military endeavours by any normal standard, and as such should have been acknowledged in the report as key details for anyone trying to understand the situation to factor into their analysis.

Elsewhere, Nasser stated that the incident “killed at least 45 people, many of them women and children.” While it’s beyond question that a significant number of innocent people lost their lives in this tragic incident, stating the precise number of 45 without qualifying it in any way as an unverified figure reported solely by a historically unreliable and Hamas-affiliated source — the “Gaza Ministry of Health” — is inappropriate for the standards of a mainstream and respected news outlet. Precise accuracy must always be prioritized for serious journalism and reporting, even when dealing with emotionally-charged topics.

Finally, this opening story was immediately followed by a brief second story about anti-Israel demonstrators in British Columbia blocking traffic to protest. The inclusion of this story immediately after the Rafah report added to the creation of a false anti-Israel narrative, as it implies that there is widespread outrage against Israel in Canada when, in reality, footage reveals that the protest was attended by a tiny group of people and a majority of Canadians both oppose the campus encampment movement and consistently reject the favoring of the Palestinian side as any more deserving of sympathy than the Israeli side.

On her social media, Farah Nasser frequently shows here personal sympathies to the pro-Palestinian political cause, such as this video where she attempted to, in her words, “show what’s really happening… the real images on the ground..” in Gaza, as she showed her 13,200 Instagram followers footage of two little Palestinian girls, she claims, were killed in an Israeli attack on Khan Younis. She says: “I cannot even imagine what it’s like for the people who are there (in Gaza) … these kids who are living through it.”

At the top of Farah Nasser Twitter bio, she laudably declared that “Recognizing the suffering of one side does not negate the suffering of the other. Peace is not a zero-sum game.” It’s regrettable that this particular episode of Global National missed the mark on living up to this correct paradigm.

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