"Makler poses the questions “Who is going to do the proper clean up?” and “Who is going to pay for all of this?” Rather than focusing on such reductive questions, the segment should have noted that the destruction of homes, hospitals, mosques, roads, and water and electricity lines are a form of collective punishment."
July 7, 2023
Irris Makler, Journalist, CBC News
Dwight Drummond, Host, CBC News
Brodie Fenlon, News Editor-in-Chief, CBC News
George Achi, Director of Journalistic Standards and Public Trust, CBC News
Jack Nagler, Ombudsman, CBC News
Dear Ms. Makler, Mr. Drummond, Mr. Fenlon, Mr. Achi and Mr. Nagler,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to request on-air corrections and express my concerns regarding your news segment reporting on the aftermath of the Israeli military raid of the Jenin refugee camp on Canada Tonight with Dwight Drummond that aired on July 5, 2023.
First, Makler states that funerals would be held for the 12 “Palestinian militants who were killed” during the military raid. Of the 12 Palestinians that were killed, 4 were children between the ages of 16 and 18 who died of gunshot wounds to the head and other injuries caused by the air strikes. There is no evidence yet to corroborate the claim that all of those killed, especially the children, were “militants.” The segment should have also mentioned that at least 120 Palestinians were wounded, including 20 who are in critical condition.
I insist that you provide an on-air clarification to include this information, admitting that it is unclear how many of the fatalities were militants/combatants.
Second, in the segment, Makler poses the questions “Who is going to do the proper clean up?” and “Who is going to pay for all of this?” Rather than focusing on such reductive questions, the segment should have noted that the destruction of homes, hospitals, mosques, roads, and water and electricity lines are a form of collective punishment. More importantly, viewers should have been made aware that UN Experts expressed that Israel’s military actions in Jenin “amount to egregious violations of international law and standards on the use of force and may constitute a war crime.” Frankly, more attention should have been brought to the extreme use of force and brutality of the Israeli forces.
Finally, Makler claims:
“There are many military raids into Palestinian towns by Israeli soldiers […] But we don’t report them because they’ve become almost nightly. There are many drive-by shootings in the occupied West Bank. We don't report them either because they've become so common.”
Makler’s framing suggests that there is parity between the frequency of Israeli military raids and drive-by shootings committed by Palestinians. This is highly misleading. Israeli military raids occur on a near-nightly basis, whereas the frequency of ‘drive-by shootings’ have spiked this year around the time of settler attacks on Palestinian villages but are not nearly as common as Israeli military raids. Makler also failed to mention the important context of the escalating frequency and severity of Jewish-Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
As such, I insist that you issue an on-air correction, clarifying that Israeli military raids and Jewish-Israeli settler attacks occur at a greater frequency than Palestinian drive-by shootings.
I strongly hope that my concerns are promptly addressed, and that CBC News takes immediate action to make on-air corrections and ensure that future coverage on occupied Palestine does not have such problematic and inaccurate framing.
Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East