"It is a deliberate way to delegitimize these protests and the Palestinian cause that rallies Jewish people as well. It is a misinterpretation of these protests that are essentially calling for a ceasefire and respect for Palestinian human rights. There are no calls for blood or war and threats in these protests."
December 11, 2023
Don Braid, Columnist, Calgary Herald
Michele Jarvie, Editorial/Opinion, Arts and Life, Calgary Herald
Dear Don Braid and Michele Jarvie,
I am writing to express concern about the opinion piece: “Gondek's shocking snub of Hanukkah turns a great party into magnet for antisemitism,” published on December 7 in Calgary Herald.
I want to bring your attention to one specific issue that needs to be corrected since opinion pieces must still be based on facts, and this one fails that standard.
Braid writes, “There are no calls for blood here, not even a mention of war, none of the wild threats thrown around at pro-Hamas rallies.”
It is unfair and incorrect to refer to pro-Palestine protests as pro-Hamas rallies and to write that they incite violence or make threats.
First, no evidence is provided to back these claims, although any article, news, or opinion, should be based on facts.
Second, it is a deliberate way to delegitimize these protests and the Palestinian cause that rallies Jewish people as well. It is a misinterpretation of these protests that are essentially calling for a ceasefire and respect for Palestinian human rights. There are no calls for blood or war and threats in these protests.
Third, a decision rendered by the National Newsmedia Council, 2020-03: Morrison vs Toronto Sun, upheld that a January 5, 2020, Toronto Sun opinion article inaccurately described a protest attended by Ontario NDP MPPs. NNC found that these MPPS “attended the protest to express an ‘anti-war’ point of view and position against ‘aggression’ and that [the opinion article] conflated anti-war and pro-terrorist sentiment.” NNC argued that opinions must be based on accurate facts and that you cannot be guilty by association or proximity. This article’s statement that pro-Palestine rallies are “pro-Hamas” closely resembles the issue in the Toronto Sun op-ed.
In line with my arguments, specifically the 2020-03: Morrison vs Toronto Sun decision by the NNC, and to respect your journalistic obligations of accuracy, I ask you to change the words pro-Hamas to pro-Palestine protests.
I hope Calgary Herald will make this change and cover pro-Palestine protests accurately.
Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East