"The point is that these are not fringe protesters or ideas, but an action firmly in line with much of mainstream political thought. Such an expression of outrage outside of the Israel Pavilion deserves to be a part of the story."
August 15, 2023
Kayla Rosen, Editorial Producer, CTV News Winnipeg
Ainsley McPhail, Reporter, CTV News Winnipeg
Karen Mitchell, News Director, CTV News Winnipeg
Dear Ms. Rosen, Ms. McPhail, and Ms. Mitchell,
I'm writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express concern about the coverage of Folklorama at the Israel Pavilion from March 9, 2023.
It is disappointing that both Ms. McPhail’s on-air coverage and Ms. Rosen’s accompanying article would fail to mention any of the controversy surrounding the event. Outside of the Israel Pavilion, a vigil was held for Palestine by Winnipeg residents. For good reason, as Palestinians are facing a surge in violence by both Israeli military forces and Israeli settlers. Amnesty International, UN experts, over a thousand academics, and a former UN Secretary-General, to name a few, have all recently referred to Israel as an apartheid state. Israeli violence against Palestinians has gotten so bad, that this month the United States, Israel’s closest ally, called an Israeli settler attack on a Palestinian village a “terror attack.”
The point is that these are not fringe protesters or ideas, but an action firmly in line with much of mainstream political thought. Such an expression of outrage outside of the Israel Pavilion deserves to be a part of the story. Indeed, Palestinians constitute 20% of Israel’s own population, so one would think this would be all the more central.
One protester in Winnipeg, Candice Bodnaruk, made the point in an independent media interview outside the event that the Russia Pavilion was cancelled the last two years due to its ongoing occupation of parts of Ukraine. She asks why Israel might not be given the same treatment. This is especially curious, as it is a country now run by a far-right, extremist government coalition that is on the record for wanting to crush aspirations for Palestinian statehood and is facing unprecedent backlash for its anti-democratic judicial reforms.
Balanced reporting ought to capture this critical aspect of the event, that people gathered outside to protest its occurrence. It is disappointing to see that CTV would completely omit this aspect of the story in all of its coverage.
According to the CBSC’s Code of Ethics, “It is recognized that the full, fair and proper presentation of news, opinion, comment and editorial is the prime and fundamental responsibility of each broadcaster.” I’m afraid your coverage falls short in this case.
I urge you, at a minimum, to include any of the above context in an update to your article. Otherwise, Palestinians, who are central to the story, will have been erased.
Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information or additional comment.
Director of Media Advocacy, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
 “A year of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians just escalated. Is this an uprising?” Associated Press, July 3, 2023, https://apnews.com/article/israel-palestinians-violence-raid-army-2cd32276d1c3c85f21a0462420227382.
 “US calls suspected Israeli settler attack terrorism,” Reuters, August 6, 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/sharpened-censure-us-calls-suspected-israeli-settler-attack-terrorism-2023-08-06/.