Dear HonestReporting Canada Subscriber, On November 2’s broadcast of Face à Face, a daily news and debate morning talk show on the Quebec French-language television channel V (formerly TQS), hosts Caroline Proulx and Stéphane Gendron gave their opinions on Canada’s decision to keep UNESCO funding at current levels, while ceasing further volunteer payments, after the organization admitted “Palestine” as a member.
Gendron, who is notorious for his vitriolic anti-Israel views, scandalously accused Israel of planning to steal Palestinian land by running over and murdering innocent Palestinian civilians with bulldozers, in retaliation for “Palestine’s” admission to UNESCO. To watch this segment please click hereor on theimage below. Here’s also a partial transcript of Gendron’s comments: (HRC translation)
“The Minister of Foreign affairs, John Baird, decided not to make further contributions to UNESCO, why? Because the U.S. decided to cut its funding, why? Because Palestine dared to be admitted to UNESCO. This is appalling! It is an affront to peace! Do you know what Israel did? In revenge forthe admissionof Palestineto UNESCO,they decidedto build2000homesin areasthat donot belong to them, the occupied territories, so they are going to bulldoze people, kill people, they will give them 5 minutes to get out and then they’ll run people down with bulldozers. And Canada supports this.”
It is simply unacceptable for a television host of a mainstream morning talk show to give air to such calumnious libel. Neither is it acceptable for V television station to allow this sort of inflammatory rhetoric to be broadcast to its viewers. Not only is there no basis nor precedent for such Israeli actions, Gendron’s accusations have crossed the line from legitimate opinion to inflammatory discourse.
As we alluded to earlier, Stéphane Gendron, the Mayor of Huntington, Quebec, has a history of uttering hateful anti-Semitic rhetoric and disseminating egregious falsehoods against Israel. Previously, on the September 23 edition of Face à Face, Gendron claimed: “Before 1948, … the Jews stole the land from the Palestinians…” and “it’s the Jews that invented terrorism.”
In the wake of Israel’s interdiction of the Gaza-bound flotilla, an effort to enforce a legal maritime blockade to prevent the smuggling of deadly weapons to the Hamas terrorist regime, Gendron authored a column published in the Journal de Montreal on June 1 where he spuriously compared the Gaza Strip to the Warsaw Ghetto. Apart from this appalling comparison, Gendron’s screed completely ignored Israel’s legitimate security concerns. He failed to acknowledge past precedents which justify Israel’s blockade, such as Israel’s interception of over 50 tonnes of Russian and Iranian-made weapons in 2002 on the Palestinian Authority freighter Karine-A, or its November 2009 interception of "hundreds of tonnes" of arms from Iran destined to Hezbollah, in a raid only several dozen miles off its coast. At the time, HonestReporting Canada successfully negotiated prominent opinion space in a subsequent edition of Le Journal de Montreal to rebut Gendron’s outrageous assertions. HRC’s rebuttal was published on June 10 and it can be read in full by clicking here. Shortly after Israel’s 2008 Operation Cast Lead, which was a response to over 10,000 rocket attacks into Israel from Gaza, Gendron posted an odious letter to his blog addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper claiming that the "Zionist Government of Israel" was conducting a "genocide." Finally, in an interview with Le Soleil in August 2006, Gendron referred to Israelis as modern-day Nazis ("Les Israéliens, ce sont les nazis des temps modernes"). He later claimed that he was referring to the current Government of Israel and that the analogy was fitting. Despite being condemned for his comments, he refused to issue a retraction or apology. At the time, B‘nai Brith Canada described his statements as inherently racist, calling his comparisons "beyond the pale" and a "grotesque distortion of history."
HonestReporting Canada has previously called on Canadian media outlets to distance themselves from Gendron. We reiterate this call today with even greater fervour. Gendron should not be given a platform for his bigoted views. His attempts to incite and libel Israel are grounded in ignorance and hate. Gendron’s claim that Israel indiscriminately murders innocent Palestinians with bulldozers utterly discredits him as a suitable host of a daily talk show on Quebec’s V television channel.
How You Can Make A Difference
In order for V-Television to remain in good standing as a credible Canadian broadcaster, it must terminate its relationship with Stéphane Gendron. We encourage all HRC members to call on V-Television’s CEO, Maxime Remillard, to remove Stéphane Gendron as the host of V’s Face a Face program. Please send emails to: firstname.lastname@example.org