Success! CBC Removes Music Host’s Segment Which Shared Song “River 2 The Sea” With Listeners, In “Solidarity With The People Of Palestine”

On April 3, the CBC radio program Reclaimed, which bills itself as a “weekly series on CBC Music that explores the many worlds of contemporary Indigenous music,” hosted by Jarrett Martineau, featured the host introducing a song by telling listeners that “this one (song), in sonic solidarity with the people of Palestine, this is ‘River 2 the Sea,’ on Reclaimed.”

The song in question, by Hussein Elnamer (who goes by the stage name Handsome Tiger), is a reference of the commonly-used anti-Israel chant “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” referring to the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, an unmistakable message that calls for Israel’s dissolution or destruction in its entirety.

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Following the broadcast, HonestReporting Canada produced an alert on April 8, where we pointed out that the phrase “is an unapologetic embrace of a hateful and genocidal ideology,” and that Martineau’s abuse of his platform “is simply indefensible.”

In response to complaints by HRC subscriber’s to CBC about the segment, Tara Mora, the senior director of Radio, Talk and Music Programming in CBC’s Unscripted department, defended Martineau’s statement, saying that “this was heard differently than it was written, and was interpreted instead as the host expressing a point of view on behalf of CBC.”

However, Mora did acknowledge that “the impact here did not align with Reclaimed’s intention,” adding that “we acknowledge that the song could have been introduced differently and we have removed the original episode from on demand listening. Changes will be made before it becomes available again.”

While it is difficult to observe how Martineau’s expression “in sonic solidarity” could be understood as anything but a statement of support for the message of the song, namely “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” HonestReporting Canada acknowledges CBC’s removal of the segment from on demand listening, and its recognition that it fell short of what the Canadian public expects of its publicly-funded broadcaster.

A few weeks prior, on February 28, CBC Music profiled a song called “Hello Everyone (Ceasefire Now),” by performer Jenn Grant, which included lyrics such as “free Palestine,” as well as “by the tens and the millions, we are also Palestinians,” a favourite slogan at anti-Israel demonstrations.

More broadly, CBC has published and produced a long litany of anti-Israel content which fails to adhere to journalistic standards, including giving sympathetic coverage to anti-Israel protests, highlighting anti-Israel guests, and more.

Let this incident serve as a testament to YOUR ability to make an impact and a difference in our battle against anti-Israel media bias.


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