In CBC The Current Interview, Author Nathan Thrall Tells Host Israel Is To Blame for Hamas Terrorism

November 10, 2023

On the November 8 broadcast of the CBC radio program The Current, host Matt Galloway interviewed author Nathan Thrall about his recent book: “A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy”, about the complexities and intersection of Israelis and Palestinians.

Thrall, who described himself in an October interview as a “Jewish critic of Israel,” did more than tell Galloway about his book and the reception to it in recent weeks, frequently peppering his comments with false and misleading claims about Israel and the Palestinians.

Listen to the full segment below

At one point, Thrall told Galloway that “seven million Jews and seven million Palestinians” were all “living under Israeli rule, and the vast majority of those Palestinians don’t have basic civil rights.”

This is a fallacious statement on Thrall’s part. The combined Arab population in Israel, Judea & Samaria (often called the “West Bank” by news media outlets) and the Gaza Strip is around seven million. But 2.3 million people in Gaza, at least prior to Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack, were not living under Israeli rule; the country had not occupied the enclave since August, 2005.

Thrall’s claim that many of these Arabs do not enjoy “basic civil rights” is incontrovertible, but not for the reasons listeners may think. It is indisputable that Gazans do not enjoy civil rights, which are denied to them by Hamas, the Islamic terrorist organization which occupies the area and controls every aspect of their lives. Hamas, not Israel, bears responsibility for the miserable situation faced by Gazans.

Moreover, more than two million Arabs live in Israel, where they enjoy full rights equal to their Jewish neighbours, including the right to vote, stand for election, pursue any career they want, and live as how they see fit.

As for Arabs in Judea & Samaria, most live under the civil rule of the Palestinian Authority (PA), not Israel. By describing the situation as “ethnic domination of Jews over Palestinians,” as Thrall did, paints an exaggerated and false caricature of Israel and the Palestinians.

Whatever the complexities exist between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, it is not “ethnic domination” by any stretch. Under Israeli law, all Israeli citizens are equal, Jewish or Arab. Thrall, meanwhile, conflates Palestinians in the West Bank – who are not citizens of Israel – with Arab citizens of Israel who are either citizens or residents. It is hardly a controversial point that countries have a responsibility to their own citizens, not to the citizens of neighbouring jurisdictions.

With his comments, he not only fails to acknowledge not only the responsibility of the Palestinian leadership, but also the refusal of the Palestinian leadership to pursue negotiations with Israel which would lead to a Palestinian state, thus giving the Palestinians self-determination.

Thrall continues his discussion by telling Galloway that violence between Hamas and Israel will “continue to be the case so long as we have this attitude of not engaging with the deeper system that will exist after this war is over, and that must be addressed if we want to have any chance of ending this bloodshed,” later adding that “This system, which has existed for decades, cannot continue because it resulted in (Hamas’ attack on) October 7.”

This, perhaps, is Thrall’s most distorted and egregious statement of all.

The bloodshed, suffered by both Israelis and Palestinians, will certainly not end without a fundamental change, but contra Thrall, that change is not about Israeli policies, but the stubborn and adamant refusal of Palestinian terrorist movements, namely Hamas, to accept Israel’s right to exist.

There is nothing Israel could possibly offer Hamas, short of its own total destruction, that would satisfy the Islamic terrorist group’s bloodlust. To Hamas, every part of Israel constitutes illegitimate occupied territory, and the group has repeatedly, loudly and explicitly made no secret of its desire to destroy Israel.

The “system” which caused Hamas’ terrorist attack on October 7 is fundamentalist, totalitarian ideology, armed by Hamas’ extensive arsenal of weapons. Until that cancer can be excised, namely through the defeat or surrender of Hamas, bloodshed will continue. Blaming Israel for Hamas’ terrorism is not only unwarranted, but it serves to justify and excuse the murder of 1,400 Israelis by barbaric terrorists.

That CBC host Matt Galloway didn’t challenge Thrall’s outrageous statement saw him abdicate his obligation to ask tough questions to his interviewees on controversial subjects.

Send your concerns directly to CBC The Current via their contact form. Or, by emailing host Matt Galloway directly at: matt.galloway@cbc.ca.

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