"This type of statement that went unnoticed conflates a pro-Palestine stance with Hamas as a way to not only discredit the cause but also the legitimacy of their concerns regarding Israel’s bombardment campaign on Gaza. This is a highly concerning and problematic statement that borders false accusations, as no evidence is provided to support such a claim."
January 31, 2024
Sophie Langlois, Reporter, The National, CBC News
Adrienne Arsenault, Host, The National, CBC News
Perlita Stroh, Producer, The National, CBC News
Chad Paulin, Executive Producer, The National, CBC News
Dear Sophie Langlois, Adrienne Arsenault, Perlita Stroh, and Chad Paulin,
I am writing to express concern for The National video segment: “Medical students fear speaking out about Israel-Hamas war,” aired at 1:40 on January 31, 2024, on CBC News.
Judging by the video segment’s headline, one would think that it is solely about medical students’ fears and consequences for criticizing Israel’s attacks on Gaza or for showing support for Palestine by signing petitions or posting on social media.
This was the case for the first half of the segment, where space was given to a medical student and a physician.
However, mid-segment, it gives voice and space to Jewish students and professors.
In this part of the segment, the University of Concordia professor who has been given a space says some controversial statements, specifically this one: “It’s difficult to find out that your colleagues support Hamas.”
It is already difficult for students to show support for Palestine, as your reporting demonstrates, so I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for professors, especially if they “support Hamas.”
This type of statement that went unnoticed conflates a pro-Palestine stance with Hamas as a way to not only discredit the cause but also the legitimacy of their concerns regarding Israel’s bombardment campaign on Gaza.
This is a highly concerning and problematic statement that borders false accusations, as no evidence is provided to support such a claim. It is more concerning, especially at a time when the ICJ ruled that Israel is plausibly committing Genocide in Gaza.
Sophie Langlois should have challenged such a statement.
The framing of this segment is also questionable. It conflates the fears medical students face with the concerns of Jewish students and professors.
Both are legitimate, but the fact that a part giving voice and space to people supporting Palestine is presented before the part reporting the fears of Jewish students and professors is not well executed. This makes it seem like the former are responsible for how the latter are feeling.
This segment should have also given voice to Palestinian and Muslim people to be more balanced, fair, and accurate. It should have mentioned Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism that are on the rise and not only antisemitism.
The national should have included Palestinian and Muslim voices and perspectives and mentioned Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism.
I hope The National will report on campus issues in an accurate, fair, and balanced manner in the future.
Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East