Taxpayer-Funded Halifax Publication “The Coast” Refers To “Israel’s War On Gaza” And “Israel’s Occupation Of Palestine”

June 11, 2024

Anti-Israel activists in Halifax were the subject of a recent 1,500 word fawning article in The Coast, an online news outlet in Nova Scotia, that gave them a long and obsequious report that was indistinguishable from a press release.

The June 4 article entitled: “Dal faculty call for ‘an end to the scholasticide in Palestine,’” written by Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Lauren Phillips, reported on a group of anti-Israel faculty members at Halifax-area universities who recently introduced motions at a faculty association meeting relating to the Hamas-Israel war.

Phillips produced a remarkably similar anti-Israel article in April, when she gave a local professor an unvarnished platform to spread disinformation.

The Local Journalism Initiative is a project funded by the Government of Canada that “supports the creation of original civic journalism that covers the diverse needs of underserved communities across Canada.”

While The Coast may decide that merits coverage, Phillips’ coverage was less a news article than it was an uncritical regurgitation of the activists’ talking points.

In her article, Phillips referred to “the war on Gaza” and “the Israeli assault on Gaza,” carefully avoiding even a single use of the word Hamas, the genocidal Islamic terrorist organization who launched the current war on October 7 with its massacres in Israel and hostage taking of 250 innocents, and which continues to perpetuate the war.

By refusing to name Hamas once, and instead calling Israel’s counter-terrorism operations a “war on Gaza,” Phillips embraced the hateful ideology of anti-Israel activists who falsely accuse Israel of waging war on Gazans for no discernable reason, and seek to whitewash and erase the jihadist terrorist organization which is at the very centre of the war.

The article quoted Mohammed El Hazzouri, an associate professor in the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University, who made the accusation that Israel is “targeting schools, targeting universities,” in a statement that is so fantastically misleading, it is disinformation.

Unsurprisingly, El Hazzouri, whose anti-Israel activism garnered predictable sympathetic media coverage from CBC News, chose to ignore that Hamas terrorists have long used Gazans as human shields, a practice that has not stopped. On June 6, an Israeli airstrike killed 17 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists as they cowered inside a school run by UNRWA, the disgraced United Nations agency.

Rather than provide readers with any semblance of context or even bare information about Hamas’ practices in Gaza, Phillips simply allowed El Hazzouri’s blatant disinformation to stand unchallenged.

In addition to her uncritical coverage of El Hazzouri and his efforts to demonize Israel among faculty, Phillips mentioned a small anti-Israel occupation at Dalhousie University, referring to the “students camping on the front lawn,” failing to acknowledge that many, if not most, of such protesters are not students at all.

More importantly, rather than referring to them for what they are, a gang of illegal campus occupiers, Phillips bestowed upon them undeserved credibility, referring to them by their protest names, including “Al Zeitoun University.”

Phillips also told readers that the groups have made demands of the universities to divest funds which “sustains Israel’s occupation of Palestine.”

There is no Israeli “occupation of Palestine,” a non-existent state that has never before existed, but this did not stop Phillips from repeating anti-Israel propaganda, seemingly without any interest in research or factual accuracy.

The June 4 article in The Coast by Lauren Phillips was a long and detailed servile piece that, while ostensibly a news report about a group of anti-Israel activists, was in fact indistinguishable from a press release that could have come from any number of marginal pro-Hamas organizations.


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