Yahoo News Canada Polls Readers On Whether Canada Should Impose Sanctions On Israel

April 10, 2023

In early April, during the Islamic month of Ramadan and shortly before the onset of the holidays of Passover and Easter, Israeli police officers and Palestinian rioters faced off inside the Al Aqsa Mosque, built atop the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Hundreds of Palestinian rioters had barricaded themselves inside the mosque, stockpiling weapons such as large rocks, fireworks, and even homemade explosive devices, thought to be hoarded for use against Jewish worshippers in the Western Wall plaza below, as has taken place before.

In response to the estimated 400 Palestinians blockading themselves inside the mosque with deadly weapons, Israeli security forces entered and sought to prevent terrorist attacks from taking place, but were met with violence in return.

Over the coming days, Israel was falsely accused of “storming” the mosque unprovoked and of attacking innocent worshippers, and soon as a result of the ensuing anti-Israel incitement in local Palestinian media, four people in Israel died from Palestinian terrorist attacks, including a mother and her two young sisters, both British-Israeli citizens, and one Italian tourist.

Subsequent news media coverage has often distorted these events, also falling into the misinformation that Israel “raided” the mosque.

On April 6, a news article entitled: “’Canada can no longer stand on the sidelines’: Politicians, Jewish, Muslim groups condemn attack at Al-Aqsa mosque,” published by Elianna Lev of Yahoo News Canada, was an example of an outlet repeating this false information with no critical context being provided.

The article opened by referencing “an attack by Israeli soldiers on Palestinian worshippers,” and stated that “the attacks at the place of worship have left many Canadians stunned and outraged.”

And while Lev quoted statements from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly and the official Twitter account of Global Affairs Canada, she also quoted a host of other voices, including a number of fringe anti-Israel organizations.

Lev quoted Ariel Lakoff, a representative of Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV), which she described as “an organization committed to social justice and universal human rights.”

Lakoff is also quoted by Lev as saying that what “should be a joyous time when we come together and celebrate all our faiths and heritages but Israeli apartheid makes that impossible by imposing this system of sheer violence on Palestinians,” and “One simple thing Canada can do is impose meaningful sanctions on Israel like stopping arms trade with Israel or banning products from illegal settlements.”

Independent Jewish Voices is a radical and fringe anti-Israel group which supports the discriminatory BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement against Israel. Unsurprisingly, it’s also a vocal opponent of the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of antisemitism, which has been accepted around the world and across Canada. The definition recognizes that denying the Jewish People their right to self-determination is antisemitic.

Despite Lakoff’s claims to the contrary, Israel is a free and democratic country, not an apartheid state, nor does it impose “this system of sheer violence on Palestinians.” Israeli forces did not enter the mosque for no reason; they did so to confront the hundreds of Palestinian rioters and their weapons, whose wanton disregard for the sanctity of a Jewish and Muslim holy site went entirely unmentioned by Lakoff.

Calling for Canada to “impose meaningful sanctions on Israel,” as Lakoff did, is a bewilderingly backwards take on a country defending itself from violence imposed on it by radical religious extremists hell-bent on murdering innocent civilians. Israel is not only permitted to, but in fact obligated to protect its civilians from harm.

Similarly, during the last major conflagration in May 2021, large groups of Palestinian rioters used the Temple Mount & Al Aqsa Mosque as a staging ground for violence and rioting, including lobbing potentially deadly rocks at Jews praying at the Western Wall.

Not only did Lev provide Lakoff with a platform to spread anti-Israel disinformation, she failed to cite a single voice who defended Israel’s actions and cited the country’s security concerns.

Furthermore, at the top of the article, a poll was presented to readers, asking “Should Canada impose sanctions on Israel over the violence in Palestine?”, falsely presenting Jerusalem as being in ‘Palestine.’

With over 100 rockets having been fired at Israel over Passover and on the heels of the murder of 4 innocents in Israel at the hands of Palestinian terrorists, Yahoo News Canada published a poll on whether Canada should sanction Israel! (We encourage you to please vote No on this poll).

While violence at a holy site, and in particular during a holy time of year for Judaism, Islam and Christianity undoubtedly creates high tensions for faithful around the world, it makes the need for factual reporting even more critical. Unfortunately, Lev failed to accomplish this critical task.

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