"The segment, like most English-language coverage of the new Quebec office, completely ignores the controversy surrounding it. A Quebec office in Tel Aviv undermines the government’s stated support for Palestinian self-determination and normalizes Israel’s egregious human rights violations."
August 9, 2023
Maya Johnson, Anchor, CTV News Montreal at 6
Colin Niven, News editor and producer, CTV Montreal
Tania Krywiak, Supervising News Editor, CTV Montreal
Dear Maya Johnson, Colin Niven, and Tania Krywiak,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express our concerns regarding a segment on CTV News Montreal about Quebec’s plan to open an office in Tel Aviv, which aired on August 8, 2023.
The segment, like most English-language coverage of the new Quebec office, completely ignores the controversy surrounding it. A Quebec office in Tel Aviv undermines the government’s stated support for Palestinian self-determination and normalizes Israel’s egregious human rights violations. Many human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem, and UN experts, have concluded that Israel is an apartheid state due to its discriminatory treatment of Palestinians, and the government is moving forward plans for the illegal annexation of the occupied West Bank. Key coalition parties in the current far-right Israeli believe Palestinians to be inferior and hold that the Jewish people have an “exclusive” right to all Palestinian land,[i] making the goal of a sovereign Palestinian state impossible.
It is extremely disappointing that your segment did not include any of this important context, nor did it highlight any critical perspectives from politicians or civil society. For example, my organization issued a statement raising serious concerns with Quebec’s announcement, and at least one MNA, Ruba Ghazal, stated that “Québec should not open an office in Tel Aviv given the situation with the reform of the justice system, which is strongly contested by the population, and the lack of respect for human rights in Palestine.”
Clause 6 in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code of Ethics says all broadcast coverage must be full, fair, and proper. Your segment should have included more critical questions about the opening of office in Tel Aviv, mentioned some of the reasons behind why it is controversial, and/or included an interview with someone critical of the decision. We would be happy to suggest potential people to interview to provide fair and balanced coverage.
Thank you for making these changes. Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
[i] See CJPME’s resource, “Israeli party policies on Palestinian self-determination,” https://www.cjpmemap.ca/israeli_party_policies_on_the_question_of_palestinian_self_determination