The Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) devoted three days to intensive broadcasting on the Middle East. Between April 28-30, CBC Newsworld presented “three provocative and compelling documentaries that offer[ed] historical perspective and unique contemporary insight into the Israeli/Palestinian struggle.”
The three nights were chockablock with films rehashing the 1982 Sabra/Shatilla massacre, glorifying Arafat, and showing aggressive Israeli military actions against Palestinians. The films were accompanied by the “Counterspin” talk show that gave forum to anti-Israel critics.
CBC, apparently trying to draw a comparison between Lebanon and Jenin, broadcast the controversial documentary, “The Accused.” First broadcast in June 2001 on BBC, “The Accused” charges Ariel Sharon with war crimes, basing the case largely on a radical anti-Israel academic, and a legal expert who said later, “I agreed to speak to [the BBC] as an expert on the law in general, on command responsibility, but I said I would not in any way comment on any liability, criminal or civil, of Ariel Sharon and I didn’t do so.” The BBC — and CBC — also ignored testimony by participants in the attack on the Palestinian camps who charged that the Phalange military leader responsible for the massacre was a Syrian agent who sought to sully Israel.
See HonestReporting critiques of “The Accused” at:
The second CBC film was “The Ugly War: Israel Undercover” — another BBC import which CBC originally broadcast in March. The documentary shows Israeli commando and helicopter crews as they seek out terrorists in Palestinian areas.
The third CBC Newsworld program showed two films: “Arafat: The Struggle for Palestine,” and a personal profile of s homicide bomber, entitled “Suicide As a Weapon.”
CBC’s decision to broadcast “The Ugly War: Israel Undercover” is not so much a sin of commission, but of omission. Not broadcast was a second BBC documentary, “The Ugly War: Children of Vengeance,” which showed Palestinian terrorists and bomb factories in — of all places — the heart of Jenin. CBC broadcast it in March, but this time CBC executives apparently decided that the second BBC documentary contradicted a portrait of Israeli aggression.
Here are some important excerpts from the BBC script (the one that CBC didn’t broadcast) that serve as incontrovertible evidence that Jenin was “Terrorist Central.”
“We’re taken deep inside Jenin refugee camp to two Al-Aqsa fighters… Ja’aire and his men have several hideouts — sometimes in large apartment blocks like these. Families live all around them, making it harder for the Israelis to strike without inflicting other casualties…
“In Jenin, we join a group of Al-Aqsa fighters… We are led by the hand, down back alleys, down a flight of stairs, to the most secret location of all. Into Weapons Factory. This is a weapons making factory. The engineer. The man we are about to meet is the most important link in the chain. If the Israelis knew where he was they would assassinate him — without question. To many Palestinians, he is a legend. This is an engineer — an engineer of death…
“Jenin: just a few miles from the nearest Israeli town. Secular groups like Al Aqsa, and Islamic groups like Jihad, now work closely together. In the explosives lab, the engineer is working for both. This is the explosives belt the young men use when they carry out their martyr operations…
“A leader of Al-Aqsa, Jamal Hwaid: ‘This is a very patriotic environment. A lot of young men have been martyred here. There are 22 martyrs in all. Jenin camp is the greatest source of martyrs for Palestine. It’s the capital of martyrs. Which is why Sharon calls Jenin the cockroaches nest. We call it the nest of angels.'”
See BBC’s promo for “The Ugly War: Children of Vengeance”:
See the full program transcript:
If you feel that CBC exhibited bias, write to:
Robert Rabinovitch, CBC President & CEO
Harold Redekopp, Vice President of English Television
Tony Burman, Newsworld Executive Director
Fax: (416) 205-3757
Catherine Olsen, Newsworld Producer
Phone: (416) 205-2527
Fax: (416) 205-3199
David Bazay, CBC Ombudsman
POB 500 – Station A, Toronto Ontario M5W 1E6
Thanks to Media Action Group for background info.