Minuscule Anti-Israel Protest At St. John’s University Merits Three Separate News Reports From CBC

June 18, 2024

The protests of miniscule numbers of anti-Israel activists in recent months have laid bare the movement’s ability to mesmerize pliable news media outlets, who have given them endless sympathetic news coverage, despite their insignificant numbers.

A pair of news reports from CBC in Newfoundland is the most recent evidence of this trend.

An 11-minute segment for St. John’s Morning Show broadcast on June 11, was dedicated to a small demonstration at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN).

Listen to the full June 11 segment below:

During the interview, host Krissy Holmes spoke with reporter Darrell Roberts about his recent visit to an occupation by a group of anti-Israel activists on campus.

He reported that the protest at its peak was about 20 people total, but overnight, those camping out numbered 6-10, out of a total university enrolment of around 19,000, and it’s unclear how many of that figure were not students at all.

Roberts told Holmes that the protesters were demonstrating “Israel’s war in Gaza,” a curious turn of phrase that erased Hamas’ launching of an unprovoked genocidal attack on October 7 which caused the current war.

During the segment, a number of protesters and activists were recorded, but not a single individual expressing any opposition to the mob. The most that was offered was a question from Holmes to Roberts about accusations of antisemitism among other occupations. Roberts, in turn, told the host that the demonstrators on campus denied those accusations, before moving on, without giving listeners real-life examples of such hate speech spewed on other occupations which is a major cause of concern for critics.

One protester was recorded whining that the university “did not want to negotiate with us in good faith,” a consistent refrain among anti-Israel radicals who are apparently unaware that illegal occupations do not require good faith negotiations, but that the university, by refusing to remove the occupation, has de facto given them undeserved legitimacy.

Another demonstrator was recorded complaining that at one point, a security guard meekly asked the group to leave (which they refused to do), saying the guards “were being intimidating and implied there would be consequences if we stayed.”

Even in the face of such ridiculous comments – grumbling that an illegal occupation would be politely asked to leave somehow constitutes intimidating behaviour, but that actual intimidating behaviour on the part of the protesters is forgivable – neither Holmes and Roberts pointed out this patently absurd reality, instead giving it a platform on the program.

The detailed segment was only part of the coverage afforded to the anti-Israel mob. The same day, Roberts penned a news article for CBC News entitled: “Pro-Palestinian protesters occupy building on MUN’s St. John’s campus.”

The article, like the radio segment, did not quote a single individual opposed to the illegal occupation, instead giving credence to the protester’s radical demands for divestment from Israel, and quoting propagandistic allegations of “genocide,” including from Alec Brookes, an associate professor of gender studies and the interim head of anthropology at the university.

The next day, the St. John’s Morning Show was back with yet another segment on the tiny occupation. In a nine-minute segment, Roberts interviewed Dennis Peters, the university’s acting associate vice president, who spoke of the students’ “right to protest,” though he politely asked them to vacate the premises (a request that has been thoroughly ignored).

Listen to the full June 12 segment below:

Roberts, for his part, repeatedly challenged Peters on the school’s lack of disclosure of funds, giving additional credibility to the asinine demands of demonstrators. In any other context, would CBC News run two radio programs and a news article, repeating the fringe demands of illegal protesters, and presenting them as worthy of a response? We think not.


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