Home Media Action Alerts2013 Radio-Canada Issues Correction: Mavi Marmara not “Attacked” by Israeli Forces

Radio-Canada Issues Correction: Mavi Marmara not “Attacked” by Israeli Forces

by Michelle Whiteman

See French version below.

On April 7, Radio-Canada’s Middle East correspondent Ginette Lamarche filed a report on the reconciliation efforts between Israel and Turkey. Recalling the Mavi Marmara incident, Ms. Lamarche stated “Two weeks after the Israeli prime minister offered an apology to Ankara for the attack on the Mavi Marmara…”

As HRC pointed out to Radio-Canada, Israel did not “attack” the Mavi Marmara vessel. Israeli forces boarded the vessel while enforcing a legal naval blockade of Gaza. As stated in the UN Palmer Report:

“The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law”. 

The ensuing violence began when Turkish activists tried to lynch Israeli soldiers. The Palmer Report also confirmed that:

Israeli Defense Forces personnel faced significant, organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers when they boarded the Mavi Marmara requiring them to use force for their own protectionThe flotilla acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade. The majority of the flotilla participants had no violent intentions, but there exist serious questions about the conduct, true nature and objectives of the flotilla organizers, particularly IHH.”

Following our request to amend this report, Radio-Canada agreed the use of the term “attack” was inappropriate and issued the following correction:

“On April 7, in a radio report by Ginette Lamarche on John Kerry’s Middle East visit and the reconciliation efforts between Israel and Turkey, the correspondent recalled the Mavi Marmara incident and misused the word ‘attack’ to refer to the legal boarding of the vessel by Israeli forces in which nine Turkish citizens were killed.”

In addition to corrections issued by Radio-Canada for a number of Ms. Lamarche’s reports, the Radio-Canada Ombudsman has upheld 10 complaints against Ginette Lamarche since the fall of 2011. Lamarche’s term as Mideast correspondent soon comes to an end.

We thank Radio-Canada for setting the record straight.



Radio-Canada publie une correction: le Mavi Marmara n’a pas été «attaqué» par les forces israéliennes

Dans un reportage diffusé à la radio le 7 avril dernier à propos des efforts de réconciliation entre Israël et la Turquie, la correspondante de Radio-Canada en Israel, Ginette Lamarche, avait fait la déclaration inexacte qui suit: « Deux semaines après que le premier ministre israélien ait fait ses excuses auprès d’Ankara pour l’attaque du navire Mavi Marmara … » .

Comme l’a souligné HonestReporting Canada à Radio-Canada, les forces israéliennes ont arraisonné  (et non pas attaqué) le Mavi Marmara tout en imposant un blocus maritime de Gaza.

La violence qui a suivi est née lorsque les militants turcs ont tenté de lyncher les soldats israéliens.  Selon le rapport Palmer, « les forces israéliennes ont arraisonné le Mavi Marmara afin d’empêcher le viol du blocus face à une résistance organisée d’un groupe de passagers violents qui avaient l’intention d’user de la force pour combattre l’armée israélienne ».

Le rapport a expliqué  que « le blocus naval, imposé par mesure de sécurité légitime pour empêcher que les armes entrent à Gaza par la mer ainsi que sa mise en œuvre, sont conformes aux exigences du droit international ». Les passagers ont été  accusés d’avoir agis « avec insouciance, tentant de violer délibérément le blocus » donc la loi internationale maritime.

Suite à notre plainte, Radio-Canada a publié cette mise au point:

< Le 7 avril dernier, dans le reportage radiophonique de Ginette Lamarche portant sur la visite au Proche-Orient de John Kerry et les efforts de réconciliation entre Israël et la Turquie,  la journaliste rappelle l’incident du Mavi Marmara en utilisant à mauvais escient le mot « attaque » pour parler de l’arraisonnement légal du navire par les forces israéliennes. Neuf citoyens turcs ont été tués durant l’abordage. >

En plus des corrections émises par Radio-Canada pour les reportages de Mme. Lamarche, l’ombudsman de Radio-Canada a confirmé 10 infractions aux normes journalistiques de Radio-Canada de la correspondante depuis l’automne de 2011. Le mandat de Mme. Lamarche en tant que correspondante au Moyen-Orient arrive bientôt à sa fin.

Nous tenons à remercier Radio-Canada d’avoir apporté cette correction.



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Alice April 25, 2013 - 12:30 am

What a crock. The activists were clearly targeted by the Israeli Occupation Forces. Plain and simple…and well in keeping with the IOF’s heavy-handed tactics.

Anonymous April 26, 2013 - 6:06 pm

Weekly retractions of “errors” illustrate an ugly fact about the taxpayer-funded CBC.

Radio-Canada is constantly being held to correction of “errors” in their broadcasts about Israel. They are NOT incompetent and error-prone as they are hoping the public might believe. They know exactly what they are doing in promoting falsehoods through their intractable bias against Israel and its legal rights.

For that reason they are negligent in their taxpayer funded mandate to follow journalistic standards in that they are a pro-Palestinian propaganda outlet.

CBC should not be allowed continued legitimacy and should be dismantled.

Maureen Richardson April 26, 2013 - 7:26 pm

You must be the Alice from “Alice in Wonderland” because your statement leads me to WONDER WHAT ROCK YOU’VE BEEN UNDER FOR THE LAST FEW THOUSAND YEARS!!!

Anonymous April 27, 2013 - 11:52 am

You have got it all wrong. Alice has not been under a rock, but a dung heap.

Richard Levy April 26, 2013 - 10:09 pm

If Lamarche used the words “for the attack on the Mavi Marmara” after reading the Palmer Report, then she was clearly trying to blacken Israel’s reputation by misleading the Radio-Canada listening audience.
If Lamarche used the term “attack” because she had not read the Palmer Report, then she is not doing her job of reporting competently.
In either case her term is deservedly terminating. Let us hope her successor displays better jounalistic professionalism..

Anonymous April 27, 2013 - 12:37 am

I notice that you use the acronym “IOF”, something that exists in fantasy. The correct term is the Israeli Defense Force. You might wish to consult the historical record and the legalities of the San Remo Agreement, which is legally binding and has not been superseded. Knowledge of the law as it stands will bring clarity.

Anonymous April 27, 2013 - 11:50 am

@Alice, It is obvious that the so called activists setup this event so to have the Israelis look bad. These people were not activists, but well trained actors who only wanted to continue leading the Lame Stream Media around by the nose. Radio Canada is a fine example of being Lame and worse than that dishonest. Then again,the Radio Canada journalists went to the “Dan Rather School of Journalistic Integrity” and all of them passed with honors.

A Switzer April 28, 2013 - 12:57 pm

What a shame the apology gives short shrift to what really happened. ,


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