"How can it be peaceful if Palestinians are being ethnically cleansed, kicked out of their homes, imprisoned for no reason, cannot vote, cannot move, are met with checkpoints, and Palestinian refugees cannot return to their homeland?"
December 4, 2023
Evan Bray, Host, The Evan Bray Show, 980 CJME
Brittany Caffet, Executive producer, The Evan Bray Show, 980 CJME
Dear Evan Bray and Brittany Caffet,
I am writing to express concern about your November 30, 2023, 5:11 AM radio segment.
I am deeply concerned by the fact that you decided to play a video of a woman unfairly and inaccurately explain the “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” chant.
You also give no context about who the woman is, which furthers the one-sidedness of your radio segment as you take her opinion at face value.
The transcript reads:
From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free: it is calling to end the existence of Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, which includes the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the entire state of Israel, the only Jewish state in the entire World, 7 million Jews and 2 million Arabs live here in peace. With your Free Palestine idea, where do you want us to go?
There are three significant issues in this narrative.
The first one is the explanation itself of this chant. This chant means the liberation of Palestine and Palestinians in all historical Palestine, meaning from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Palestinians want to have their human rights respected and, therefore, wish to be treated equally as the Jewish people.
The second one is the false assertion that Palestinians and Jewish people live in peace. How can it be peaceful if Palestinians are being ethnically cleansed, kicked out of their homes, imprisoned for no reason, cannot vote, cannot move, are met with checkpoints, and Palestinian refugees cannot return to their homeland? They live under Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank, which is far from living in peace. On the contrary, Palestinians are living in a system of oppression and domination.
The third one is that this woman makes it seem like it’s an antisemitic call, a call for the genocide of Jewish people, which is disrespectful to Jewish people and Palestinians who seek the liberation of Palestine and Palestinians and the Palestinian cause that was never antisemitic.
This type of narrative seeks to conflate antizionism and antisemitism, while these two concepts are not the same. According to Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), “antisemitism is discrimination, targeting, violence, and dehumanizing stereotypes directed at Jews because they are Jewish.” Anti-zionism, in another part, is “standing against the creation of a nation-state with exclusive rights for Jews above others on the land.”
Going back to my first point, the state of Israel is a state that is not in peace since it is a Zionist state where Jewish People are placed above Palestinians, and the state undertakes actions to maintain this system where both groups do not enjoy the same rights. Palestinians and their anti-Zionist allies, such as some Jewish people, want to dismantle this system, hence the chant.
We request an on-air apology and correction, as it is not time to fuel anti-Palestinian hate, antisemitism, and misinformation.
Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East