Toronto Star Commentator – A Freelance Journalist And Journalism Professor – Tacitly Glorifies The Houthis For Standing Up To Israel

One of the most central tenets of journalism is to respect the truth, whether one likes it or not.

But in her February 13 opinion column in The Toronto Star, “Hypocrisy in the Middle East,” Shenaz Kermalli, a freelance journalist and lecturer at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), shows precious little need to adhere to the facts, and instead grossly suppresses the truth from readers.

Kermalli addresses Ansar Allah, better known as the Houthis, a fanatical Islamic terrorist group based in Yemen.

The group has been making headlines in recent weeks after they began a campaign of violently attacking civilian shipping vessels in the Red Sea, ostensibly to protest Israel’s war against Hamas, and evidently deciding that was more important than feeding the millions of starving citizens of Yemen.

In an Orwellian inversion of truth, Kermalli tells readers that the terrorist group justifies their attacks on civilians by stating they are “fulfulling their obligations to enforce Article 1 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

While Kermalli may claim that she is merely repeating Ansar Allah’s claims, not endorsing them, she fails to tell readers anything about the group’s extremism.

The terrorist group’s official motto leaves little to the imagination, reading: “God is the Greatest/Death to America/Death to Israel/A Curse Upon the Jews/Victory to Islam.”

Just like Hamas, its ideological cousin, Ansar Allah is an extremist jihadist Islamic group, aimed at conquering infidels, killing Jews, and anyone else standing in their way. But readers of Kermalli’s column would – not unreasonably – come to the conclusion that they are the Davids facing a Goliath: lacking strength, but possessing moral courage.

Kermalli quotes Shireen Al-Adeimi of the Quincy Institute in Washington, D.C., who says that “Yemenis know what it means for babies to die because there is no Tylenol.”

But rather than coming to the inescapable conclusion that – rather than attacking civilian ships in the Red Sea – the Houthis instead could seek to rectify the crushing poverty faced by Yemenis, Kermalli lets them off the hook.

In her column, Kermalli continues to perpetuate her David versus Goliath imagery when she writes that “on the one hand, there is Israel, with a highly sophisticated military and support from leading regional and world powers; on the other, there is Gaza, with a militant group, but no state, no army and a civilian population living under occupation and siege.”

While it may be popular in some quarters to view Hamas as righteous because it is smaller, that is asinine logic. Smaller does not mean moral, and bigger does not mean evil. Hamas is a genocidal terrorist group that deliberately murders innocent people, rapes women, and kidnaps babies.

This column is not Kermalli’s first foray into anti-Israel activism. In the fall of 2023, after the current war began, and in violation of basic journalistic standards, she signed an open letter demanding news media outlets publish more pro-Palestinian content.

Kermalli has used her voice to express anti-Israel disinformation before; in 2021, she published a column in The Toronto Star, which tacitly compared Israel’s counter-terrorism efforts against Hamas to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Shenaz Kermalli’s February 13 column is a tacit glorification of Ansar Allah, an Islamic terrorist group, and falsely portrays them as righteous when they – like Hamas – target civilians for harm simply because of their hateful ideology.


Send this to a friend