Shree Paradkar Column Portrays Anti-Israel Activist As Victim Of Pro-Israel Campaign To Silence Palestinians

March 27, 2024

Shree Paradkar’s nonstop anti-Israel diatribes at The Toronto Star continue unabated.

In her latest such commentary entitled: “This doctor was suspended after his tweets on the Israel-Hamas conflict drew controversy. Now he’s suing,” published March 23, (representing her 12th on the subject since October 7), Paradkar shared with readers the case of Ben Thomson, a nephrologist at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital.

On October 10, just three days after Hamas’ genocidal terrorist massacres throughout southern Israel, Thomson took to social media to deny that Hamas had committed sexual crimes against Israeli women, writing that “there have been no confirmed reports of rapes.”

Worse yet, Thomson reposted tweets which compared “Hamas resistance” to “Ukrainian resistance,” a grotesque equivalence between a genocidal Islamic terrorist group and armed forces engaging in combat against other armed forces.

Thomson also signed an open letter by the ‘Health workers Alliance for Palestine,’ a self-described “organization based in the settler colonial state of Canada” which soon after the war began, accused Israel of genocide and never mentioned, let alone condemned, Hamas or its massacres and kidnappings.

Thomson was soon suspended by his employer for his incendiary comments, and has now filed a lawsuit, seeking $1.5 million in damages from the hospital, claiming that he was defamed as a result.

Paradkar, ever-predictable in her commentary, characterized Thomson’s suspension as only the latest example of “growing instances of officialdom shutting down criticisms of Israel in public spheres.”

While Paradkar did quote Thomson’s posts on social media, she nevertheless found herself unable to condemn Thomson’s comments, writing that “whatever one thinks of the substance of Thomson’s public statements,” the real issue is that they reflect an apparent campaign to silence pro-Palestinian voices, or as she phrases his commentary, someone who has “expressed in tweets” views “supporting Palestinians and questioning Israeli statements,” a significant understatement.

Paradkar, following in the footsteps of anti-Israel activists facing consequences for their actions, and then seeking to be recognized as victims, said that Thomson is the latest victim of a campaign that is “stifling voices who support Palestinians.”

At one point in her commentary, Paradkar quoted an article written by former CBC News reporter Brishti Basu covering the Thomson story in the fall. Basu’s ongoing anti-Israel coverage made her the subject of multiple HonestReporting Canada alerts, in particular one especially egregious article where, like Paradkar, she portrayed anti-Israel activists, not as people facing consequences for their actions, but as victims of a campaign to silence them.

In her column, Paradkar noted that she recently shared a stage with Thomson when she received an award from Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations-Canada (UOSSM Canada) for her coverage of Gaza, a group co-founded by Dr. Anas Al-Kassem, also a signatory to the November open letter and who appeared on CBC Radio in January, downplaying Hamas terrorism and accusing Israel of deliberately targeting ambulances.

Near the end of her column, Paradkar wrote that “this case is not just about Thomson,” and in that respect, she is correct, but not because it’s about the mythical pro-Israel lobby stifling dissent.

Instead, Thomson’s case is just a microcosm of how the veneer of humanitarianism has been weaponized by anti-Israel activists to defame the Jewish State, whether by doctors appearing in the news media making unfounded and unproven allegations, posting hateful remarks on social media, and then newspaper columnists, with a connection to both parties, then writing about it, all while portraying these same parties as victims.

Shree Paradkar’s column is yet another example of the commentator twisting reality to fit an ideology, and falsely positioning anti-Israel activists as victims, and not as people facing the natural consequences of their own actions.

Take action now by sending a letter to the editor to the Toronto Star to counter Shree Paradkar’s falsely portraying anti-Israel activists as victims of pro-Israel campaigns meant to silence Palestinian voices. Send emails to: lettertoed@thestar.ca.

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