"It is extremely disappointing that your article did not include any of this context or background information. The parallels between the oppression and discrimination that Palestinians and Indigenous Canadians have experienced and continue to experience is obvious and could have helped readers understand that the advocacy needed for both groups is based on common values of justice and human rights."
August 30, 2023
Darren Bernhardt, Online Editor and Reporter, CBC News
Brodie Fenlon, News Editor-in-Chief, CBC News
Dear Mr. Bernhardt and Mr. Fenlon,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) with concerns regarding an online news report, “Manitoba's refusal to search landfill for remains is racist, church leader says,” that appeared on the CBC News website on August 29, 2023.
Words and phrases in your article such as “it’s a human rights issue”, “demonstrates a lack of humanity”, “preference for people who are white” and “it’s racist” provided framing as to why these leaders will be travelling to Winnipeg on September 5 to stand in solidarity with the communities at Camp Morgan and at Camp Marcedes. Most readers would understand this action as “advocacy”.
However, there is a total lack of context when later in your article you use the words “advocacy work around Israeli-Palestinian relations” to reference some collaborative work the same four denominational leaders had undertaken. Those words totally mislead the reader as to the oppressive and dehumanizing control of Israel over the Palestinians. As well, they completely downplay the depth of the churches’ advocacy work and their growing concern over the deteriorating conditions for Palestinians due to Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.
As recent as April 27, 2023, the nature of what you describe as “Israeli-Palestinian relations” was plainly described by one of the church leaders in your article as comparable to settler colonialism here in Canada and apartheid in South Africa. This description is consistent with how Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem, and a chorus of international experts have described Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Furthermore, on June 30, 2023, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada passed a resolution recognizing that “Israeli discrimination against Palestinians is overt and systematic.” They also directed their national offices to examine, discuss, and address emerging realities, including the implications of the recent reports by B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, and to respond appropriately.
It is extremely disappointing that your article did not include any of this context or background information. The parallels between the oppression and discrimination that Palestinians and Indigenous Canadians have experienced and continue to experience is obvious and could have helped readers understand that the advocacy needed for both groups is based on common values of justice and human rights.
We urge you to provide a correction that includes some context or background to the “advocacy work on Palestinian-Israel relations”.
We expect that future articles would include better context and when needed, background information in order to better inform your readers.
Should you have any questions you are welcome to contact me at 250-469-4468.
Kelowna, British Columbia