Toronto Star Commentator Shamelessly Attempts To Frame Anti-Israel Protesters As Warriors For Justice

On May 8, The Toronto Star published an opinion piece entitled: “I am bewildered when people talk of peace but only want convenience,” by Shellene Drakes-Tull, a regular commentator with The newspaper, wherein she made a number of wildly erroneous claims about the Israel-Hamas war.

The inversions Ms. Drakes-Tull engaged in, in order to push her particular anti-Israel narrative are in blatant opposition to the facts on the ground of this conflict.

Her main point seems to be that Canadian citizens, safe in the comfort of their homes, should not dare tell anti-Israel protestors to be quiet, and that “this desire for order and peace above justice that will end a war is a problem.”

Unfortunately for her, the only justice that will end this conflict once and for all is an end to the terrorist reign of Hamas in Gaza. Those in North America calling for a ceasefire cite the death toll to civilians, that this war exacts too heavy a price for returning our hostages and removing a terrorist threat from Israel’s doorstep. In these calls for ceasefire, these students and armchair warriors are doing exactly what Drakes-Tull bemoans – calling for order and peace above justice. The terrorists who murdered, raped and maimed thousands of innocent civilians on October 7 must be brought to justice, and Israel allowed to live in safety and security forever forward. Without that ending, there can be no justice.

Moreover, ‘justice’, as a concept, relies upon truth and honesty – Lady Justice is portrayed blindfolded in order to make this point – that there must be justice based on the facts and objective truth, not on what we wish to be, or on our biases and ideologies. Truth is truth, no matter what one feels about it. In this case, Drakes-Tull claimed the protestors are condemning a genocide, that the Israeli government is withholding food as “punishment”, that the death toll has surpassed 34,000, with disproportionate representation of women and children.

Of course, there is no genocide in Gaza, as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) refused to intervene, and as anyone with a clear understanding of the word can see. The only genocide is the one that Hamas attempted on October 7th (and has promised to continue until their dying breath). The Israeli government is not “withholding food”, as more aid trucks are now entering Gaza than before the war. 

The only reason for anyone in Gaza going hungry is that Hamas terrorists are hoarding food, and shooting their own civilians who attempt to reach it. The death toll numbers have been walked back by Hamas themselves more than a month ago (so anyone continuing to parrot erroneous numbers is now complicit in the dissemination of overt Hamas propaganda, and just this past week the United Nations quietly halved the estimated numbers of women and children killed.

Finally, Drakes-Tull quoted the inestimable Dr. Martin Luther King in his Letters from a Birmingham Jail, where he condemned white moderates who would rather see peace and order than justice and equality for all.

How dare she invoke the memory of Dr. King in her diatribe of lies against the Jewish nation.

Dr. King was a staunch Zionist who famously proclaimed “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.” The invocation of his name to try to paint Israel and the Jewish people as the aggressor in this conflict is an offence to his memory, and to every Jewish civil rights warrior who stood with Dr. King in his mission of justice and equality. 

Ultimately, Ms. Drakes-Tull somehow missed the point entirely with her piece – that Israel was the victim of an attempted genocide on October 7 – one which its perpetrators have promised to continue pursing until they are successful. The only way to prevent it is to remove them, entirely. Of course, it would be easier to go back to the status-quo, to the ceasefire that was in place on October the 6th, but that is not justice.

Shellene Drakes-Tull’s column in The Toronto Star lectured Canadians that there is no peace without justice, a point she seems unable to recognize even as she attempted to make it. To quote Drakes-Tull: “this desire for order and peace above justice that will end a war is a problem.” The only justice that will come in Gaza is with the defeat of Hamas.

Take action by sending a letter to the editor to the Toronto Star: lettertoed@thestar.ca.

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