"The article gives up to date numbers of Palestinians killed and I thank you for including the important fact that while Western intelligence dispute these numbers. Historically data given by the Gaza Ministry of Health have been correct. Mainstream media have the unfortunate habit to treat Israeli sources a as credible while casting doubt on Palestinian sources."
November 9, 2023
Sarah Law, Reporter, CBC News
Mari Ito, Managing Editor of Digital Publishing. CBC News
Brodie Fenlon, New Editor-in-Chief.CBC News
Dear Ms Law, Ms Ito and Mr Fenlon,
I am writing on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
(https://www.cjpme.org/) , Saskatoon Chapter, to thank you for Sarah Law's article published on November 07, "Thunder Bay man went to Gaza to help wife make journey to Canada".
I appreciate the article points out that the trip is not easy to make "at the best of times" . Indeed, the trip is dangerous and costly.
This would have been a good place to provide some essential context explaining why it is "not easy." Rather than "Hamas-controlled Gaza", you could have informed readers that since 2006 Gaza has been under an illegal land, sea and air blockade. Israel controls everything and everyone going into or out from the Gaza strip, which is indisputably considered occupied under international law. International Humanitarian Law requires countries bordering a war zone to open their borders for refugees. Even under normal circumstances, Gazans, like all Palestinians, are not allowed to use Israel's Ben Gurion airport but have to make the expensive, and arduous journey through Egypt's desert.
The article gives up to date numbers of Palestinians killed and I thank you for including the important fact that while Western intelligence dispute these numbers. Historically data given by the Gaza Ministry of Health have been correct. Mainstream media have the unfortunate habit to treat Israeli sources a as credible while casting doubt on Palestinian sources. This in spite of the multiple times that Israeli sources have been found to give false information. The killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is a good example.
Thank you for including Rami El Mawed's key 'asks' and comment that the Canadian government is not doing enough for its Palestinian Canadian citizens. In contrast, Israeli Canadian evacuations started soon after the start of the bombing.
One of Mr El Mawed's practical 'asks' is direction from global affairs on how to mark vehicles coming from Jabaliya refugee camp as holding civilians. Just days ago, the Israeli army targeted ambulances waiting at the entrance of AlShifa hospital to transport critical patients to Egypt. More than 60 civilians were killed.
I appreciate your pointing out the irony that Mr Abuhussein's research is on clean drinking water, which even before the assault was in short supply in Gaza.
This would have been the place to insert some more relevant context.
At the start of its assault on Gaza. the Israeli army turned off the electricity (no more charging of cell phones!) and water. This is collective punishment and a war crime. People have been drinking the brackish groundwater which would not even be given to animals.
You refer to "war torn region" .More correct would be to state "Ever since Israel occupied Gaza in 1967, along with the West Bank and East Jerusalem, violence has regularly erupted as Palestinians have endure decades of occupation.".
This is especially relevant as Hamas gave the occupation and blockade as reasons for their attack on Israel.
MP Powlowski is quoted as saying the Canadian Government is "trying to reduce the loss of life on all sides". At the time of this writing his name was not on the list of 33 MPs calling for a ceasefire, the one thing that can save lives,
In spite of missing context which I hope you will take into account in future reporting, your article puts a face on one Palestinian, you humanize him and make him more than a number. Canadians need to realize that Gaza, of which my family has first-hand knowledge, is full of young, talented people like Mr Abuhussein who, because of the occupation, are unable to contribute to the development of Palestine.
Finally, I thought your choice of photos illustrating the article was excellent and it was good to see the one showing Thunder Bay's day of action calling for a ceasefire.