Toronto Star Publishes Massive 4,000 Word Sympathetic Portrayal Of University Of Toronto Hate Mob, While Largely Ignoring Pro-Israel Event With 1,000 Times More People

June 20, 2024

Anti-Israel bias in the Canadian news media doesn’t just exist in what is written or reported, or even how it is reported, but what the news media chooses to ignore.

On June 9, an estimated 50,000 people, including city councilors, Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) and Members of Parliament (MPs) marched in the annual Walk with Israel, stretching five kilometres in North York.

The walkathon was not only the biggest walk of its kind in the world outside of Israel, it was one of the biggest events related to the Israel-Hamas conflict in Toronto over the last eight months.

Yet The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest-circulation daily newspaper, which purports to “inform, connect, investigate, report and effect change,” did not publish any independent report on the huge event, instead simply republishing an existing Canadian Press (CP) wire story.

In extreme contrast, an illegal anti-Israel occupation at the University of Toronto, where a few dozen individuals – most of whom do not appear to be students – have created an anti-Israel protest, that has resulted in near-endless coverage in the newspaper, a large amount of it not only sympathetic, but highly dismissive of the repeated and documented instances of pro-terrorist rhetoric, hate speech and violence.

On June 16, staff reporter Ben Cohen published a 4,000+ word feature article entitled: “Is the clock ticking on U of T’s polarizing encampment? How protesters and the university each see their fight,” representing just the latest instance of the newspaper giving breathless coverage to a marginal demonstration while largely dismissing another one, which was roughly 1,000 times larger.

While the feature article did acknowledge that the university has produced lengthy court documents “some alleging serious acts of hate speech and violence in the encampment vicinity,” it gave equal weight to the ridiculous claims made by members of the mob, as Cohen wrote that the protesters say their “security is at the greatest risk here, as outside agitators regularly come to campus to threaten them.”

The only “agitators” are the members of the hate mob, whose presence is illegal, who have physically blocked off university space, forcibly prevented those they deem undesirable from entering, and where plenty of filmed instances of undeniable hate speech and support for terrorism have occurred.

Thus, equating hearsay from illegal demonstrators with extensive documented instances of harassment and violence from the anti-Israel crowd, is highly disingenuous.

Cohen gave yet more credence to the childish antics from the anti-Israel crowd, saying “protesters say they are the ones being let down by a school they say isn’t protecting them and that they believe is supportive of the killing of some of their loved ones in Gaza.”

The protesters may say many things, much of it utterly nonsensical, but that does not mean that The Toronto Star owes it to their readers to mindlessly regurgitate that propaganda. The University of Toronto has permitted the occupation, has not suspended or expelled anyone, allows ongoing in-and-out privileges, and even negotiates in good faith with the mob.

While the demonstrators have failed to gain a large following – perhaps a couple dozen actual students out of nearly 100,000 total enrolled at the university – they have more than made up for in sympathetic news media coverage from Canada’s largest newspaper.

The university has already given the mob far more undeserved legitimacy than it should have, thus facilitating their striking lack of self-awareness as they demand even more, and in his massive June 16 article, Ben Cohen and The Toronto Star gave the protesters arguably their best-ever free publicity.

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

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