McGill Daily Gives Fawning Coverage To Anti-Israel Walkout

November 9, 2023

Sena Ho’s November 6 article in The McGill Daily entitled: “A walkout Against Injustice,” is a textbook example of the kind of sloppily written article that masquerades as a journalism, but is in fact a poorly-researched, ideologically-driven opinion column.

The piece contains practically nothing of substance and consists almost exclusively of effusive summaries and regurgitations of the propagandistic slogans chanted at a recent Montreal anti-Israel “walkout” rally, without even so much as an attempt at explaining or examining the issues the event was about.

Worse than that, the author appears disturbingly unaware of (or perhaps just indifferent to) the concepts of objectivity in reporting, as she repeatedly weaves back and forth between reporting on what the speakers said and restating their politically-charged characterizations of things as accepted assumptions—making no attempt at any point to distinguish between fact and opinion.

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A reader of Ho’s article could reasonably assume Israel is just bombing Gaza for no reason whatsoever. Ho, described by the Daily as a News Contributor, never bothers to even mention the massive, barbaric terrorist attacks of October 7th which caused the current war, nor the ongoing rocket attacks and hostage crisis affecting thousands of Israeli families. The only mention of Hamas is to quote a protestor dismissing the idea that pro-Palestinian activists should be expected to denounce the terrorist group’s genocidal ideology. This, too, Ho blindly accepts as legitimate without any apparent thought of attempting scrutiny, questioning, or balance in her reporting.

Ho vaguely and presumptuously asserts in her headline that the rally was against “injustice.” She refers to the war as “the Israeli state’s destruction in Palestine.” She equates supporting Israel’s war effort with taking part in “humanitarian injustices” and implies that universities rejecting absurd pro-Palestinian initiatives makes them complicit in this. She compares the rally to historic social movements against repressive regimes, and calls the effort “a fight against oppressors, against the nations and governments who seek power while silencing those who stand in their way.” 

She informs us of the various incendiary slogans that were recited, and quotes person after person hurling the usual buzzwords like “apartheid,” “settler-colonialism,” and “genocide” without any follow-up whatsoever, seemingly unaware that millions of Canadians reject these adjectives and have a very different view of the situation. While she never bothers to mention any of the alternative points of view or factual flaws in the narratives she parrots, she does manage to repeatedly gush about the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd and the apparently invigorating passion of the speakers.

Contrary to the impression Ho creates, the salient points are unavoidable: Israel is fighting a defensive war against a fanatical, barbaric, genocidal terrorist group who, without provocation, chose to invade a sovereign state and cruelly massacre its civilians in their homes, in the largest terrorist attack against a democratic country since 9/11. Hamas, the instigator of the war, has built tunnel systems underneath schools, mosques, hospitals, and other civilian areas—a clear war crime—in order to use Gazans as human shields to protect their weapons. Unlike Hamas, who continue to indiscriminately target cities with rockets, destroying countless homes, Israel has provided warnings to the people of Gaza about where it intends to focus its operations, and continuously allows opportunities for people to flee in order to minimize civilian casualties—something Hamas has actively sought to interfere with through violent means. 

And as for the slogans Ho reports hearing at the rally, they were far from denunciations of “injustice.” “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is a call for the complete elimination of the State of Israel and has traditionally been invoked by Palestinian extremists to call for the mass murder of the 7-million Jews currently living in Israel – nearly half the world’s population of Jews.

Likewise, “Don’t support stolen land” is an ahistorical denial and negation of the Jewish people’s 3000-year-long indigenous presence in their ancestral homeland, and of the fact that Israel voluntarily ended its occupation of the entire Gaza Strip nearly two decades ago in order to give the Palestinians a chance at independence and self-determination.

From beginning to end, Ho’s piece is truly a masterful clinic in how not to do journalism.

But it gets worse, in the print edition of the Daily, the paper encourages readers to: “Scan the code to sign a petition to the Prime Minister calling for an immediate ceasefire!” (In case you were wondering where the Daily and this author stands on the conflict, they don’t hide their advocacy of a ceasefire which serves Hamas only and allows the terror group to rearm and regroup. So much for journalistic objectivity and political neutrality.

Does this calibre of reporting really meet the standards of the student newspaper at one of North America’s most prestigious universities—presumably written and edited by people hoping to become Canada’s next generation of journalists and media leaders?


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