Success! CBC Removes Reference Of “Palestinian Resistance Movement” After HRC Complaint.

April 22, 2024

On April 17, Ted Arnott, the speaker of the Ontario Legislature, announced that he would be banning the keffiyeh, the checkered Arab headdress, from being worn at Queen’s Park. In his decision, Arnott pointed out that the keffiyeh represented a divisive “political message.”

Particularly following Hamas’ October 7 massacres in Israel, the keffiyeh has become a popular symbol at pro-Hamas demonstrations around the world, with protesters often using it to hide their faces and to show hostility to Israel, its supporters and to the Jewish people. Recently, keffiyehs were worn by a number of federal NDP Members of Parliament (MP) on March 17 when they voted in favour of an anti-Israel motion in parliament.

Following Arnott’s decision, Ontario Premier Doug Ford publicly pressured him to recant, and news outlets reported that he had whipped Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP) in the Progressive Conservative caucus to support an NDP bill that would overturn the move, though that was soon defeated, leaving the ban in place.

A number of news media outlets reported on the decision by Speaker Arnott.

In an article published online by CBC News soon after the news broke entitled: “Ontario Legislature keffiyeh ban remains in place,” Muriel Draaisma, a reporter and writer based in Toronto, wrote that “keffiyehs are a commonly worn scarf among Arabs, but hold special significance to the Palestinian resistance movement.”

As a result, HonestReporting Canada filed an official complaint with CBC News. In the complaint, we was noted that using the term “Palestinian resistance movement” was deeply problematic, and is subjective, prejudicial and myopically implies that their so-called “resistance” is legitimate, adding that it was inappropriate language for Canada’s public broadcaster to employ. To wit, CBC would never refer to the pro-Israel movement as the “pro-Israel resistance movement” or something similar.

Subsequent to HonestReporting Canada’s complaint, the deeply problematic term was removed from the article. However, it remains elsewhere, as a caption underneath a photo, telling readers that “Keffiyehs are a common garment across the Arab world, but they hold a special meaning in the Palestinian resistance movement.”

We have called on CBC News to remove this reference, as well. Stay tuned to this page for future updates.


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