Toronto Star’s Shree Paradkar Selectively Hides Details From Readers As She Disingenuously Uses Sensationalist Imagery To Evoke Emotions

June 10, 2024

In her June 2 opinion column entitled: “Ottawa’s waffling on Gaza makes commitment to human rights look shaky,” Shree Paradkar, the “social and justice columnist” at The Toronto Star, bewailed what she believes is the lack of “Canada’s commitment to an international human rights system.”

Of course, Paradkar was not speaking about genocide and famine in Sudan, or honour killings in Pakistan, where male family members murder close female relatives due to perceptions that they “dishonoured” their families, or gross human rights abuses in Iran, or any other manifold crimes against humanity rampant across the Islamic world.

Instead, Paradkar was only too happy to cast aside any discussion of the human rights of billions of people when she can castigate Israel instead, in her third such column in as many weeks.

Paradkar is not merely guilty of indifference to the victims of actual genocide and famine in the world with her relentless fixation on Israel, but is also guilty of misrepresenting facts to suit her ideology.

The efforts of the Trudeau government, which has consistently criticized Israel’s counter-terrorism operations, is not good enough for Paradkar, who accused Trudeau of embracing a policy of “appeasement” in the Middle East.

Instead, she called Israel’s operations against Hamas leaders in the Gaza neighbourhood of Rafah “indefensible” and in “defiance of orders” by the International Court of Justice ICJ).

Rafah is the last remaining major holdout of Hamas in Gaza where four battalions of fighters are holed up, and as such, Israel is morally obligated to take every action possible to defeat the Islamic terrorist group so it can no longer pose a threat to the country. It is also the view of many legal experts that the ICJ, contra Paradkar, did not demand Israel end its Rafah operations, but merely to ensure steps are taken to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties.

More to the point, Israel has taken extensive, even unprecedented steps to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza, going so far as to effectively advertise its military operations beforehand. As a result, the proportion of civilians killed in Gaza is dramatically lower than virtually any other armed conflict, and a remarkable testament to Israel’s efforts.

Predictably, whether out of ignorance or malice, Paradkar ignored this entirely.

Instead, she made the asinine claim that the October 7 massacres in Israel by Hamas terrorists “lit up media headlines in October in a way that dead Palestinian babies never have.”

Not only does this ignore the enormous difference between Hamas deliberately targeting civilians, and Israel doing precisely the opposite, but with this comment, it appears Paradkar has been living under a rock since October 7.

Many news media outlets across Canada relentlessly platform extreme anti-Israel voices, and dissenting views are marginalized, if not all but entirely censored out. In The Toronto Star alone, Canada’s largest-circulation newspaper, Paradkar is joined by a retinue of columnists who attack Israel at every turn.

Perhaps worst of all, Paradkar did exactly what she complained that news media outlets did in October, when she wrote of “videos of burning people screaming as Israel bombed them.”

Presumably referring to the May 25 fire in Gaza, which satellite and video evidence strongly indicates spread to a tent encampment due to secondary explosions of a Hamas munitions storage, Paradkar’s language bordered on yellow journalism, eschewing any attempt whatsoever to share details with readers, preferring sensationalist imagery that heinously whitewashes Hamas’ culpability in the deaths of its own people.

When Hamas launched its war on Israel on October 7, it knew that Israeli forces would strike the terrorist group. But it was counting on its widespread use of human shields and its clever manipulation of the world media to produce opinion columns exactly like Shree Paradkar’s on June 2. And for Hamas, that makes its mission accomplished.

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

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