"Her claim that the land was “crappy” and had “nothing on it” perpetuates a key feature of Zionist political discourse: asserting that Palestine was a “land without a People for a People without a Land” and, therefore, ideal for the creation of the state of Israel. I would recommend adding this information to your article, as it helps further contextualize how Robinson’s comments are anti-Palestinian."
February 6, 2024
Andrew Weichel, Reporter, CTV News Vancouver
Ethan Faber, News Director, CTV News Vancouver
Dear Mr. Weichel,
I am writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East to express my concern related to an article titled “B.C minister stepping down amid outcry from pro-Palestinian groups over ‘crappy piece of land’ remark” published by CTV News on February 5, 2024.
In your first sentence, you write that Selina Robinson is stepping down from her cabinet position for “describing the region where Israel was founded as a ‘crappy piece of land.’” The region to which you are referring is Palestine, both from a modern-day perspective and a historical perspective. By describing this territory as “the region where Israel was founded,” you are erasing the history of Palestinians and their land and, therefore, reinforcing Robinson’s harmful anti-Palestinian comments. Please replace “the region where Israel was founded” with “Palestine” and provide her offensive comments in their entirety.
Further, your article fails to outline how and why her comments are particularly racist and harmful. It would be helpful for readers to understand that her comments are 1.) factually incorrect and 2.) reminiscent of the ideological underpinnings of colonialism in N. America, in which the idea of “Terra Nullius” was used to justify the ethnic cleansing of Indigenous peoples. Her claim that the land was “crappy” and had “nothing on it” perpetuates a key feature of Zionist political discourse: asserting that Palestine was a “land without a People for a People without a Land” and, therefore, ideal for the creation of the state of Israel. I would recommend adding this information to your article, as it helps further contextualize how Robinson’s comments are anti-Palestinian.
You write that calls for her resignation have been made by “pro-Palestinian groups and others.” Calls for her resignation have extended far beyond Palestinian groups. Some groups include the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC, the Jewish Faculty Network, the Pakistan Canada Association, Independent Jewish Voices, and my own organization, CJPME. A list of signatories of the petition can be found here. Using “pro-Palestinian groups” obfuscates the widespread and diverse support for her resignation and insinuates that offense to her comments was felt in isolation. To convey mobilization against Robinson’s comments more accurately, your article should mention the protest outside the B.C. NDP caucus retreat at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Surrey, as well as the petition for Robinson’s resignation that reached over 11,000 signatures.
Information regarding Israel’s ongoing aerial and ground campaign against Gaza is not mentioned in your article, which is a significant contextual omission. Of course, Robinson’s comments are completely unacceptable, with or without a war being waged against Palestinians. Still, they are particularly offensive considering the mass dispossession and genocide inflicted on Palestinians by Israel in Gaza. Please provide context regarding Israel’s current four-month ground and aerial offensive in Gaza.
To uphold standards of journalistic integrity, Andrew Weichel, I recommend that you make these edits promptly.
Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East