"Israel has no constitution. Instead, it has a set of Basic Laws, none of which explicitly protects equality for all its citizens. On the contrary, numerous apartheid reports have identified the discriminatory laws and practices within Israel which serve to systematically oppress Palestinians."
July 25, 2023
Robyn Bresnahan, Guest Host, CBC ' As It Happens.'
Dear Ms. Bresnahan,
I am writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org ) Saskatoon Chapter to express serious concerns regarding your interview with Israeli army reservist Lt.-Col. Amos Davidowitz which aired on CBC As It Happens on July 24, 2023
Lt.-Col. Davidowitz tells us he is defending a "democracy with a Jewish character" and he "must protect the Jewish people."
He is echoing the Israeli Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom (1992) which refers to Israel as a 'Jewish and Democratic state'.
A democratic government vests power in its people, but by defining itself as Jewish, Israel completely disregards the 20% of its citizens that are Palestinian.
Israel has no constitution. Instead, it has a set of Basic Laws, none of which explicitly protects equality for all its citizens. On the contrary, numerous apartheid reports have identified the discriminatory laws and practices within Israel which serve to systematically oppress Palestinians.
In 2018 Israel passed its Nation State Law which gave the Jewish people of Israel the 'unique right of national self-determination' and incidentally gave rise to numerous articles in the Israeli press on having to choose between being a democracy or being Jewish.
Considering the overwhelming evidence, we have that Israel is not a nation for all of its citizens, you should have challenged Lt.-Col. Davidowitz's referring to Israel as a democracy. In future programs I expect CBC to question descriptions of Israel as a democracy.
Completely absent in your program was the effect that the 'Reasonableness Law' limiting the power of the High Court of Justice will have on Palestinians within Israel and in the militarily occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). I give you a few examples:
A bill introducing the death penalty for terrorism against Israeli has passed the early committee stages. If passed, the court will not be able to override it using the 'reasonableness' clause. Note that the bill does not apply to terrorism directed against Palestinians. You should know that in Israel and in the oPt, a child throwing a stone at a soldier in an armored vehicle is seen as a terrorist. Commonly, a terrorist act is defined as an act of violence against civilians.
Similarly, if the government decides to ethnically cleanse an entire Palestinian village, it will be able to do so instead of the gradual displacement of a few families at a time which is what it has been doing so far.
As CBC claims it aims for 'balance over time', I expect 'As It Happens' will follow up by interviewing a Palestinian living in Israel or the oPt. For truly fair and balanced reporting, both the Israeli and Palestinian perspectives should have been heard in the same program.
CJPME Saskatoon Chapter
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