Sunday, February 21, 2016

Letter to CBC Ombudsman

Although it is probably a futile gesture, I had to complain about the juvenile reporting in one recent article. CBC based the whole article on reports from Israelis. CBC childishly reports the words of the killers as a legitimate source.

Really? When a herd of fully-armed soldiers butcher two 15 year old boys whose only crime, if any at all, was throwing stones, are they really going to tell it like it was? Not half likely. But CBC is comfortable using the killers as the only source.

Here is my letter:

I wish to submit a complaint about this article:

5 Palestinians killed while trying to attack Israelis, Israel officials say

Throughout the article you are citing Israeli sources repeatedly, including in the headline. Perhaps you might claim this is objective, but when the only witnesses to an act of violence (especially the killing of children) are the killers themselves, is it ethical to report the facts as the killers describe them?

If there are no other witnesses to the killings, perhaps it would be best to simply report the killings without the questionable, and probably false details provided by the killers.

Actually in this article some of the information which you quote from the Israelis is very suspicious, possibly even ridiculous. For example this passage:

Earlier Sunday, the military said two Palestinians were throwing rocks at passing vehicles near the West Bank city of Jenin, and when security forces arrived the Palestinians opened fire at them. The soldiers fired back and killed the two Palestinians, the military said, adding that no soldiers were wounded in the exchange.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the victims as Nihad Waked and Fouad Waked, both 15 years old. 

IS it really credible that two 15 year old Palestinian boys had guns or rifles? The Palestinian population is essentially disarmed, and the few guns that they have would not be given to little boys. It is very unlikely that they shot bullets at the Israelis as the article implies. The report said at first they were throwing rocks. Why would they throw rocks, if they had guns?

A much more likely scenario is that the boys were only throwing rocks and they were executed for this by the Israeli soldiers. There is actually a lot of evidence that Israelis have been executing disarmed, non-threatening Palestinians on the slightest pretext. The Foreign Minister of Sweden has even called for an international inquiry into this possibility.

When CBC presents a lengthy article full of questionable claims by the killers about the violence they have perpetrated, CBC is echoing Israeli propaganda and doing a disservice to Canadians.

Also I find this claim that you have published repeatedly in several recent articles, and repeat here, quite objectionable:

Israel says the ongoing violence is fuelled by a campaign of incitement by Palestinian leaders that is compounded on social media sites that glorify attacks. 

Last weekend 5 or 6 young Palestinians, several of them children, acted like kamikaze pilots, literally committing suicide in their attacks on heavily armed Israelis. It is insulting to their memory to repeat the inane Israeli claim that they were just deceived by the Internet and social media. These poor children knew exactly how horrible and hopeless the Israelis have made life for them and their families, and it is adding insult to injury for Israelis to suggest they were just deceived by the Internet. CBC should not be repeating this nonsensical and insulting claim.

I would appreciate if you could instruct CBC reporters in future to refrain from citing claims by Israelis that have not been or cannot be substantiated by other non-Israeli sources. These Israeli claims should not be deemed as any more credible than the claims of murders and rapists and thieves would be in explaining the acts they had been involved in.

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