Correction needed to clarify that Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza after Hamas attacks

"Israel’s retaliation was nearly immediate and massive. Mr. Cochrane and his guests both downplay this reality and tell a demonstrable lie on air that needs to be corrected."

December 5, 2023


David Cochrane, Host, Power & Politics, CBC News

Sara Brunetti, Executive Producer, Power & Politics, CBC News

Nancy Waugh, Senior Manager, CBC News

Dear David Cochrane, Sara Brunetti, and Nancy Waugh,

I am writing to express concern about the December 4 Power & Politics segment on Israel-Palestine. It aired at 17:10 on CBC News Network.

Mr. Cochrane and his guest both repeatedly made a demonstrably false claim.

The guest said: “The demonstrations against Israel didn’t start in Montreal or Toronto when the state of Israel began responding to the attack. They started right away.”

Mr. Cochrane then cut him off by saying: “No, they started right away, I know, they started right away, yeah.”

The guest then proceeds by adding: “So anyone that will tell you that this is a response to what they see as an ill-conceived response by the Israeli government or by the Israeli army, the timeline is clear: they were on the streets October 7 in the afternoon, October 8 in the afternoon before the dust settled on that original attack and they were out handing out candy and celebrating the attack.”

Mr. Cochrane then proceeds by adding: “No, and look, I phrased it very clumsily, but you are right. I have a friend of mine who is Jewish, and I spoke to him, and I asked him how are you doing about this, and he made this very point that women and babies were killed, and people went one and celebrated before Israel had ever responded.”

This assertion is demonstrably false.

Israel started launching retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza almost immediately after the initial Hamas attacks on the morning of October 7. Within three hours of the Hamas attack at around 6 am local time, Israeli military officials already tweeted that they had begun retaliatory attacks on Gaza. This leaves little room for organizing protests, especially since there is a 7-hour time difference between Gaza and people from the East Coast. That would have meant that people were protesting by 2am or 3am on October 7 in Toronto and Montreal.

According to Al Jazeera’s live coverage of the events, Hamasʼs incursion happened at around 6:30 AM local time, which would have been 11:30 PM EST on October 6. Israel then launched its “Operation Iron Swords” at around 7:52 AM local time, which would have been in the early morning on October 7 in Canada.

Al Jazeera’s live feed, linked above, gives an hour-by-hour recap of what happened that day and there are numerous Israeli bombardments of Gaza, even in the early hours. There is no doubt that the statements made on air were false.

Israel’s retaliation was nearly immediate and massive. Mr. Cochrane and his guests both downplay this reality and tell a demonstrable lie on air that needs to be corrected.


Fatima Haidar,

Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East