UBC Student Newspaper Gives Breathless Play-By-Play Of Violent Anti-Israel Mobs

In keeping with their tradition of soft-hitting journalism, The Ubyssey, a student newspaper at the University of British Columbia (UBC), published an article on June 4 discussing an anti-Israel encampment at the university, which more closely resembled an advertorial than any attempt at news.

The article by Spencer Izen and Iman Janmohamed entitled: “Arrest made after Palestinian solidarity protesters disrupt BC NDP conference, occupy campus buildings,” excluded crucial context in its treatment of the protestors.

In the week preceding the article’s publication, anti-Israel protesters invaded and occupied campus buildings with the stated intent of disrupting a conference being held on campus by the provincial NDP party. Izen and Janmohamed reported that the protestors share that the demonstrators have consistently broadcasted their intent to disrupt any activities taking place on campus with the slogan, “no business as usual during a genocide.”

At this point in their article, the intrepid reporters deemed it necessary to remind the readers of the circumstances in the Middle East precipitating the campus standoff. Izen and Janmohamed wrote that “according to a report issued by a United Nations-appointed expert, there are “reasonable grounds” to believe Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.”

The “expert” in question is Francesca Albanese, a Special Rapporteur to the United Nations.

Albanese, who has been called a “Hamas apologist” by UN Watch and has long targeted Israel with disinformation, including falsely accusing the country of genocide, is far from any kind of credible source. She would fit in closer among the pro-Hamas mob at a campus occupation than among any thoughtful critics.

If the authors were interested in someone with actual subject matter expertise, they could have spoken with John Spencer at West Point military academy and an authority in urban warfare, who has said that Israel has set a new standard for protection of civilians in war. In contrast, Albanese is not an expert, but a propagandist.

The oft-repeated canard of “genocide” does not become more truthful with repetition. Israel is engaging in a war of survival with Hamas, the Islamic terrorist organization who has actual genocidal intentions, and who acts upon those intentions whenever possible. The October 7 murderous attacks on civilians in Israel is only the latest installment of Hamas’ murderous actions.

Israel, in contrast, does not target civilians and goes beyond the actions of any other military in preventing civilian casualties.

In their news report, Izen and Janmohamed gave a breathless play-by-play in describing the actions of the protestors as they occupied campus buildings. Despite the hands-off approach from the UBC administration towards the illegal occupiers, the irate group of malcontents continued their disruption of events on campus, all helpfully documented by reporters from The Ubyssey.

Instead of questioning the goals of such tactics, or correctly describing the protest as illegal and hateful, Izen and Janmohamed questioned only the tactics and actions of the police officers tasked with keeping the peace amidst this tense situation, writing that “The Ubyssey asked police three times why the person was arrested, but no officers answered.”

The article then repeated claims made by a group called People’s University UBC that the police are a tool of the administration, and that they are used to “intimidate and surveil.” On the contrary, the police at UBC, and around the country, have acted to protect the spaces carved out by these illegal protests. Using the language of intimidation to describe the protection of public and private spaces from the invasion of hatred spewing radicals beggars belief.

Izen and Janmohamed missed the mark entirely in their news piece. In attempting to make the police actions the story while minimizing the culpability of the protestors, they demonstrated their ignorance of both law and common sense.

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