CAMERA last week prompted correction of a CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) report which erroneously counted gunmen, infiltrators and Palestinians who engaged in other violent attacks at the Gaza border with Israel among demonstrators killed by Israeli fire. While the CBC commendably set the record straight on this point, it declined to remove the completely irrelevant discussion of Canadians joining ISIS from the article about Canadians joining the Israeli army, the friendly military of a Canadian ally.
In her Feb. 22 article (“I don’t see why I shouldn’t have to serve’: Why young, Jewish Canadians are enlisting in the Israeli military“), Elise von Scheel erred on U.N. statistics, stating:
The United Nations estimates more than 200 Palestinians were killed and thousands more injured during demonstrations that lasted for most of the year and continue still.
Since the start of the ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations on 30 March 2018 and up to the end of October, 171 Palestinians have been killed, including 33 children, during the demonstrations. A further 57 people, including 10 children, were killed in other contexts, including Palestinian attacks, Israeli airstrikes and infiltration attempts into Israel, according to information collected by OCHA.
Gaza kites: In the June 19 Section A, an article about the use of kites as weapons in the Gaza Strip said the Israeli military has killed about 130 protesters in Gaza. Those killed include armed militants, as well as one press photographer and one medic.
The United Nations estimates 171 Palestinians were killed and thousands more injured during demonstrations that lasted for most of the year, and another 57 were killed in “other contexts,” including “Palestinian attacks, Israeli airstrikes and infiltration attempts into Israel.”
Deaths and injuries sustained during demonstrations and other confrontations in Gaza in the period of March 30 to Oct. 31, 2018. (Emphasis added.)
A previous version of this story stated that the United Nations estimated more than 200 Palestinians were killed during the Great March of Return demonstrations. In fact, the UN estimated 171 Palestinians were killed during the demonstrations from March 30 until the end of October 2018, and a further 57 people were killed in “other contexts,” including “Palestinian attacks, Israeli airstrikes and infiltration attempts into Israel” during that period.
While CAMERA applauds the thorough correction regarding the U.N.’s figures for Palestinian casualties at the border, it continues to call on the CBC to remove irrelevant references to Canadians joining ISIS, which confuse and mislead news consumers, as opposed to informing them about Canadians recruits to the Israeli military. The article on Canadian “lone soldiers” who joined Israeli’s army reports:
The issue of keeping tabs on Canadians who choose to fight overseas was the subject of heated debate in the House of Commons last spring, as opposition MPs pushed back against Public Safety Canada’s pitch to reintegrate returning members of ISIS.
The debate resurfaced recently around the question of what to do with Canadians being held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces as the U.S. withdraws from Syria.
But that debate concerned radicalized Canadians fighting for a terrorist group, not Canadian citizens serving in the military of a long-standing ally.
Experts caution against drawing a comparison between Canadians serving in the IDF and those who leave to join extremist groups.
“Israel, however controversial it might be, is considered to be an ally of the Western world,” said Derek Penslar, a professor of Jewish history at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
“There’s a very close military relationship.”
Indeed, the experts are right. For that reason, coverage of Canadians joining up with ISIS has no place in a CBC feature about citizens joining the Israeli army. CAMERA continues to call on the CBC to remove the passage about ISIS recruits.