"It is therefore entirely appropriate, and indeed necessary, for Global National to have reported on the impact of Israel’s judicial changes on Palestinians under Israeli rule. This reporting should necessarily include the impact on the 1.6 million Palestinians who hold second-class Israeli citizenship, as well as the 5.2 million Palestinians under Israeli military occupation in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza."
July 27, 2023
Nathen Sekhon, Executive Producer, Global News
Crystal Goomansingh, Reporter, Europe Bureau Chief, Global News
Dear Nathan Sekhon and Crystal Goomansingh,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to respond to false claims being levelled against your reporting by Honest Reporting Canada (HRC), a pro-Israel lobby group. In a public campaign which you may have seen, HRC is challenging your reporting by falsely claiming that Gaza is not occupied and that Palestinian citizens of Israel are not repressed. These statements have no basis in reality.
First, there is an international legal consensus that the Gaza Strip remains occupied by Israel. Even though Israel “disengaged” from the Gaza Strip in 2005, evacuating its settlements and removing its ground military forces, experts including United Nations fact-finding missions, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Committee of the Red Cross have concluded that Israel has not ended its role as an occupying power. Under international law, an occupation does not depend on whether a foreign power has a direct ground troop presence in a territory, but on whether it asserts “effective control.” For a detailed discussion of Gaza’s occupied status, see CJPME’s resource, “Why Gaza is ‘Occupied’ under Israeli effective control.”
Second, Palestinians with Israeli citizenship are repressed and treated as second-class citizens, despite having more rights than Palestinians living under Israel’s military rule in the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT), or those living in exile as refugees. Their political rights are limited in many ways, and Adalah (the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) has identified more than 65 Israeli laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in some way. Israel’s largest human rights NGO B’Tselem argues that “there is not a single square inch in the territory Israel controls where a Palestinian and a Jew are equal.” For this reason, human rights groups including Amnesty International and B’Tselem insist that Palestinian citizens are among the victims of Israel’s discriminatory and oppressive regime, which they name as “apartheid.”
It is therefore entirely appropriate, and indeed necessary, for Global National to have reported on the impact of Israel’s judicial changes on Palestinians under Israeli rule. This reporting should necessarily include the impact on the 1.6 million Palestinians who hold second-class Israeli citizenship, as well as the 5.2 million Palestinians under Israeli military occupation in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. Together, nearly 7 million Palestinians are subject to the whims of the Israeli government which controls their lives, and their issues need to be part of the discussion.
Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Michael Bueckert, PhD
Vice President, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
 CJPME, “Why Gaza is ‘Occupied’ under Israeli effective control,” https://www.cjpmemap.ca/why_gaza_is_occupied_under_israeli_effective_control
 Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, “Who gets to vote in Israel’s version of democracy,” 972 Magazine, January 3, 2019, https://www.972mag.com/gets-vote-israels-democracy-2019/
 Hagai El-Ad, “We are Israel's largest human rights group – and we are calling this apartheid,” The Guardian, Jan. 12, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/12/israel-largest-human-rights-group-apartheid
 Amnesty International, “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel system of domination and crime against humanity,” February 1, 2022, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde15/5141/2022/en/; B’Tselem, “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid,” January 12, 2021, https://www.btselem.org/publications/fulltext/202101_this_is_apartheid