Article with key points about standing up against antisemitism is diminished by blatant false claims

"It is unfortunate that an article with some key points about standing up against antisemitism would be diminished by such blatant disregard for truth."

March 22, 2024


Sandra E. Martin, Globe and Mail

Dear Sandra E. Martin,

I was disappointed to read several falsehoods in the Globe and Mail board’s latest editorial, “Canada’s dangerous slide into antisemitism.”

The article states that “Antisemitic acts have been occurring in Canada in ever-increasing volume since the Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 Israelis by Hamas terrorists.” It’s well-established that Hamas was not the only group involved in the October 7 attacks. Other Palestinian militant groups participated, like Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It is incorrect to claim all of the deaths were caused by Hamas. Hamas led the attack, but they were not the only belligerents. More importantly, there are several confirmed incidents of friendly fire by Israeli soldiers. The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported that IDF tanks killed several Israeli hostages in Be'eri and at least one person from the Nova rave was killed while fleeing by Israeli soldiers. The issue of friendly fire on October 7 is serious enough that the Israeli military has launched an investigation. These may be uncomfortable facts, but they are facts nonetheless, and they make your claim that only “Hamas terrorists” killed Israelis false.

Next, the article claims that “An Indigo bookstore in Toronto was vandalized, because the chain’s founder is Jewish.” The Globe and Mail has had to correct lies about this story before. A previous article from the Globe claimed that “antisemitic” messages were posted on Indigo’s storefront, but after numerous complaints it was corrected and an editor’s note was added. There is no evidence whatsoever that protesters targeted Indigo because of a Jewish founder. Rather, protesters have repeatedly made clear it is due to Heather Reisman’s HESEG Foundation, which supports Israeli soldiers. It crosses the line, even in the context of an op-ed, to erroneously claim a group of people were motivated by antisemitism despite clear evidence to the contrary.

The column claims that “Protesters in Toronto, Montreal and elsewhere opposed to the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza have targetted Jewish neighbourhoods, synagogues and businesses.” Again, it’s not even clear what is being referenced. In the case of targeting Jewish neighbourhoods, one of the most notable accusations of such action was flatly rejected by the lead organizers of the protest. I am referring to the Avenue Road bridge protests. Organizers stated repeatedly the “location of the event was chosen based solely on convenience and exposure.” Similarly, protesters in Thornhill weren’t targeting a synagogue, but an event which featured the sale of occupied Palestinian territory, illegal under international law. A synagogue was not targeted, but an event. It is totally inappropriate and a violation of basic standards to invent such harmful stories that target pro-Palestine protesters, at a moment when anti-Palestinian racism is on the rise.

Finally, perhaps it is not a violation of standards, but it is disturbing to see the Globe and Mail call on Canadians to ignore genocide: “But if they are so keen to adopt motions, the NDP and the other parties should turn their attention to the crisis in the country they actually live in.” It is ironic that a newspaper that covers international issues would ask their readers to close their eyes when it comes to the State of Israel committing genocide against the Palestinian people. There are few words that come to mind other than shame.

It is unfortunate that an article with some key points about standing up against antisemitism would be diminished by such blatant disregard for truth.


Jason Toney

Director of Media Advocacy, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East