McGill University Newspaper Gives Platform To Anti-Israel Groups Denying Israel’s Right To Exist

Long before Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack in Israel, which killed 1,400 innocent Israelis, college and university campuses across Canada, and the Western world at large, have been hotbeds of anti-Israel activity, and in recent weeks, anti-Israel groups have only redoubled their efforts.

A November 2 article in The Tribune, a student newspaper at McGill University entitled: “Protesters demand university action and ceasefire in Gaza amidst growing global movement for Palestine,” saw the unknown author(s) give extended coverage to an anti-Israel rally which took place on campus on October 25.

While the article began with a warning to readers that the piece features “mentions of violence, death, antisemitism and Islamophobia,” it soon contributed to the melting of truth and fiction by giving an unfettered platform to anti-Israel activists who spread extreme disinformation.

The article told readers that representatives from a variety of groups participated in the demonstration, including from the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), but neglected to share that the group has an extensive history of engaging in explicit hate speech.

In recent weeks, leaders of the Palestinian Youth Movement have justified Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack, and earlier in 2023, a representative of the group told a Montreal rally that Zionism is “a “slow-moving genocide,” and that “we must fight Zionism here.”

The Tribune quoted one student activist at the event as saying that Israel is carrying out an “angry genocidal campaign…on the people of Gaza right now.” While it is the student’s charter right to make false and ludicrous statements about Israel or anything else, by giving this absurd quote coverage in the article, The Tribune is effectively legitimizing asinine and even venomous slander, effectively fanning the flames of campus extremism.

One anti-Israel activist quoted by The Tribune told the newspaper that Zionism is “is a modern nationalistic ideology weaponizing antisemitism to displace Jewish people and use them to get rid of Palestinians whom they dehumanize.”

Publishing such quotes are more than just nonsensical; they represent a frontal attack on the Jewish People’s right to self-determination in their historical homeland, which is the very essence of Zionism.

In a similar vein, the newspaper quoted a statement by Mohawk Mothers, a group of Montreal activists, as saying that “When seen through the lens of our own struggles for liberation, it is clear to us that the struggle in Palestine is the same as the struggle of all oppressed groups in the world including Jewish people. The common oppressor is European colonialism.”

That the Mohawk Mothers statement represents extreme historical ignorance is indisputable; Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish People, who have lived in the Land of Israel uninterrupted for three thousand years, and represent the antithesis of European colonialism.

But the group’s statement, which was repeated uncritically by The Tribune, is more than just historical revisionism; it was a total delegitimization of the Jewish People’s national aspirations to self-determination.

While The Tribune is free to decide whether to report on an anti-Israel demonstration, the newspaper’s decision to uncritically report on the protesters’ outlandish claims, and its failure to provide any counter-balance to their anti-Israel disinformation, represented a significant failure of journalistic standards.

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