"This is an important breaking story to cover, but the CBC and Reuters must acknowledge this core contextual information. When two parties to the conflict specifically cite this context, your failure to do so is a reflection of lazy journalism."
October 7, 2023
Brodie Fenlon, CBC news editor-in-chief
Marie Ito, CBC managing editor of digital publishing
Howard Goller, Reuters Global News Desk Editor
Dear Mr. Fenlon, Ms. Ito, Mr. Goller,
I’m writing to you to point out a massive oversight in your recent report on violence between Hamas and Israel in the piece entitled, “'We are at war,' Israeli PM says after Hamas launches surprise attack”
In the piece, you include two quotes from two parties related to the conflict, Hamas and Saudi Arabia (italics/bold added):
- You quote the Hamas military commander Mohammad Deif stating, “This is the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation on earth.”
- You quote the Saudi statement stating, “the dangers of the situation exploding as a result of the continued occupation (and) the Palestinian people being deprived of their legitimate rights.”
Both of these key players cite Israel’s belligerent occupation as the central reason for Hamas’ recent strike on Israel, yet the journalist(s) covering this story for CBC/Reuters didn’t see fit to explain or contextualize this fact. I see this as an obvious and grave failure of professional journalism.
I strongly urge you to update the piece with greater context around Israel’s brutal military occupation of the Palestinian territories. At a minimum, I would add something near the top of the piece along the lines of:
“For decades, Palestinians and their allies have called for an end to Israel’s brutal military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, begun in 1967. Palestinian armed resistance groups like Hamas are able to mobilize support because of widespread Palestinian opposition to Israel’s occupation. In recent years, international human rights organizations have asserted that, on top of its occupation, Israel practices the crime of apartheid against Palestinians.”
This is an important breaking story to cover, but the CBC and Reuters must acknowledge this core contextual information. When two parties to the conflict specifically cite this context, your failure to do so is a reflection of lazy journalism.
Should you wish, feel free to contact me at 438-380-5410.
Thomas Woodley, MPA
President, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East