"Allegations from Mayor Ron Woznow are taken at face value and no evidence is provided to prove his claims. This is a profound journalistic failure on Galinsky’s part, as journalists should ensure their articles are accurate."
January 4, 2024
Paul Galinski, News Reporter, Powell River Peak
Shane Carlson, Editor, Powell River Peak
Dear Paul Galinski and Shane Carlson,
I am writing to express concern about the article, “Councillors support ceasefire,” published on January 4 in Powell River Peak.
Mayor Ron Woznow said the conflict is a complex subject. He said Hamas, the Palestinian government, received $6 billion from Syria and other Arab countries to launch an attack on Israel, which led to many deaths.
To claim not only that Hamas received $6 billion from Syria and other Arab countries but that this money was used to launch an attack on Israel is highly concerning and refutable. Allegations from Mayor Ron Woznow are taken at face value and no evidence is provided to prove his claims. This is a profound journalistic failure on Galinsky’s part, as journalists should ensure their articles are accurate.
With a simple search, one can find that this allegation misinterprets another story: the August prisoner swap deal between Iran and the U.S. The agreement brokered $ 6 billion of Iranian assets unfrozen in exchange for the release of 5 American prisoners.
In a factcheck article on that matter, one can find that the claims that “Hamas received $6 billion to launch an attack on Israel” came from Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, and that they were debunked since this money was not yet spent as of October 7.
These funds were released for humanitarian purposes, and they would be transferred from South Korean Banks to Qatar bank accounts to ensure its overseeing and that they are not used for other purposes, such as terrorist activities. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Blinken even emphasized that not a single penny of the $ 6 billion had yet been spent and that the U.S. monitors it.
I, therefore, ask for evidence of Woznowʼs claims or a correction to ensure that this article respects the journalistic obligation of accuracy.
I hope Powell River Peak will double down on fact-checking to not further mislead its readers regarding the events in Palestine-Israel.
Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East