Global News, In Covering Illegal Road-Blocking By Anti-Israel Protesters In Vancouver, Legitimizes Hateful Mobs

Twice in one day, on May 29, Global News gave undue and uncritical attention to an unimportant and highly problematic event in which a tiny handful of radical anti-Israel activists briefly blocked traffic near the University of British Columbia.

All available footage shows that the incident, in which protestors “briefly” blocked traffic, was attended by a miniscule number of participants — seemingly fewer than 50 in total. It’s therefore unclear why Global News deemed this event worthy of multiple entire segments rather than just a passing mention, when even minor pro-Israel events across the country regularly receive exponentially larger crowds — such as a pro-Israel rally at the University of Toronto within the same 24-hour period, which despite having easily more than double the turnout received virtually zero mainstream media attention.

Does Global News believe in rewarding bad behavior by uncritically taking the bait when fringe actors aggressively disrupt other people’s lives for attention, while not having any interest in reporting on what the law-abiding majority are expressing peacefully?

The first segment  entitled: “Arrest made after pro-Palestinian protesters shut down intersection at UBC,” featured an interview with a masked student protestor identifying himself as “Juno,” who asserted that “hundreds of teachers and universities in Gaza … have been killed, thousands and thousands of students and now over 15,000 children … have been killed by Israel.”

No follow-up, scrutiny, qualification, fact-checking, or alternate points of view were offered, despite no part of this claim being factual. There were never anywhere close to “hundreds” of universities in existence in Gaza, let alone destroyed, nor have any academic institutions been deliberately targeted by Israel as such. The schools and universities which have been damaged during the war were either unfortunate collateral damage or, in some cases, were also being used by Hamas for military infrastructure and weapons storage. This disgraceful abuse by Hamas of what should rightfully be peaceful civilian infrastructure has occurred repeatedly, both with universities and with the anti-Israel UNRWA schools (among many other things).

Rather than clarifying this crucial detail, Global gave this anonymous dishonest agitator an unabated platform to share his propaganda with the Canadian public, tacitly legitimizing it in doing so.

There was also no fact-checking or clarification of his false claim that Israel has killed “over 15,000 children.” Even Hamas itself is not alleging that over 15,000children have been killed. Even so, the official numbers reported by Hamas are unverified and have been widely disputed by reputable sources. Recently, the UN revealed that it believes fewer than 8,000 of the alleged youth deaths could actually be confirmed, while untold numbers of those counted as supposedly child deaths include both teenage and young adult Hamas combatants as well as civilians killed by Hamas.

The second segment entitled: “One person arrested at UBC pro-Palestinian protest,” featured yet another interview with “Juno” — this time allowing him to openly threaten Canadian society at large, promising “all business as usual to stop…until UBC has met our demands.”

Finally, buried in the very last sentence of one of these segments is a quick, passing mention of the fact that “the president of UBC recently told Members of Parliament that some chants heard at the protests can be considered antisemitic.”

Unlike the protest activities, which receive plenty of time for interviews and attention, no further time or comment was devoted to this detail — despite the fact that the antisemitism emanating from this protest movement has been the cause of violence, harassment and intimidation towards members of the public, and has sought to normalize anti-Jewish rhetoric and violence.

This is especially noteworthy due to the fact that a Vancouver synagogue was targeted in an arson attack the same week that this insignificant protest took place, and two Jewish schools in Toronto and Montreal were shot at within the same week. It is unspeakably irresponsible and inexcusable to cover the current anti-Israel protest movement without significant attention devoted to this phenomenon.

The use of these protests to unravel civil society and the rule of law in Canada and to create an environment where bullying and intimidating Canadian Jews is acceptable is the story here. To instead focus on the propagandistic slogans and claims of the instigators is not journalism — it’s laziness, irresponsibility, and playing right into the hands of their nefarious agenda. It is disappointing that Global chose to take this unnecessary opportunity to do the latter. 

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