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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Toronto Star's pathological anti-Israel bias

It's inconceivable to me how someone who isn't either mentally ill or a complete moral degenerate could favorably compare the terrorists of Hamas to the Jews who were facing extermination by the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto. To do that would require willful blindness to the fact that Hamas, like the Nazis, are fanatically devoted to committing a genocide of Jews.

But that comparison is exactly what readers of The Toronto Star were treated to last week in a column by Gabor Mate "M.D."

I've put the M.D. in quotation marks because, though he adds it after his name, it appears Mr. Mate is not licensed to practice medicine in his home province of British Columbia.  Maybe that has something to do with Mate's having treated people with illegal drugs. Though not a psychiatrist, it hasn't prevented him from presenting himself as an expert while pushing crackpot theories about the mind and behavior, and being treated as a guru by the gullible.

A Psychology Today article about him says that Mate has described Attention Deficit Disorder as being one of his own maladies. The inability to pay attention would explain a lot about someone stupid enough to put in print:
The Palestinians use tunnels? So did my heroes, the poorly armed fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto. Unlike Israel, Palestinians lack Apache helicopters, guided drones, jet fighters with bombs, laser-guided artillery. Out of impotent defiance, they fire inept rockets, causing terror for innocent Israelis but rarely physical harm. With such a gross imbalance of power, there is no equivalence of culpability. 
The intellectual vacuity of the sick moral equivalence exhibited by Mate in his editorial is astounding. The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto used tunnels for survival - to escape and smuggle in food. The Hamas tunnels Israel is currently trying to eradicate were built to launch attacks intended to murder and kidnap Israeli civilians. Only a moral insect would equate them. As to an "imbalance of power," there was also an imbalance of power during the Second World War between the Allies and Japan, who committed mass atrocities and crimes against humanity. Were they ethical equals? Should the US only have "proportionally responded" to Pearl Harbor?  If dunces like Mate had their way, we might still be fighting World War II. Actually, I take that back. If dunces like Mate had their way, we probably would have lost.

Hezbollah flag at
Toronto's al Quds Day
Overt support for terrorism at
Toronto's al Quds Day
It's hardly a surprise to those familiar with the biases of the Toronto Star that a column by such a person, and such comparisons would be on their pages. That newspaper has come to be called The Red Star and al Starzeera for a reason. Its editorial and feature writers are like a who's who of Canadian far left hysterics. Rick Salutin, Linda McQuaig, Heather Mallick, Haroon Siddiqui. Antonia Zerbisias, Thomas Walkom - The Star is, as one Toronto blogger wrote, an elephants' burial ground for leftist dinosaurs.

But still there used to be some measure of integrity and credibility to its news reporting which it had managed to maintain as somewhat distinct from its editorializing.  Now at The Star, the pretense to credibility has fallen aside.

I was at a pair of demonstrations about the current conflict between Israel and Hamas at Queen's Park last weekend, an anti-Israel one on Saturday and a pro-Israel one on Sunday. They could not have been any more different in tone, behavior, speech and content. But you would never know that if you had to rely on the Toronto Star's coverage.

The Star's sanitized al Quds Day coverage
The anti-Israel one was the annual Khomeinist al Quds Day rally, an event founded by Iran's late Ayatollah Khomeini to rally Muslims to the cause of the destruction of Israel. The anti-Israel demonstrators carried flags of listed terrorist groups like Hezbollah, they called for the genocide of Jews, and the speakers endorsed the killing of civilians. A Jewish organizer of the large pro-Israel counter-protest was attacked and assaulted by the pro-Palestinian mob, with a five minute melee ensuing. It would have been impossible to miss any of that if you had been there and it would be dishonest of any responsible media not to report it. Yet that is precisely what the Toronto Star did in its coverage, even failing to mention the term al Quds Day in its report, referring to it in the headline as "Gaza, Israel supporters rally at Queen's Park."

The pro-Israel protest the day after was like being in a different world. It was peaceful, friendly, and almost celebratory. While the speakers at Saturday's al Quds Day included discreditable, notorious hatemongers like Zafar Bangash and Ali Mallah calling for armed "resistance," the speakers at the pro-Israel rally included two sitting MP's, John Carmichael and Mark Adler, and a young Israeli woman who spoke of her mother, a physician, half of whose patients were Palestinians from Gaza. There were no calls for killing or genocide. The only disruption was when a minor scuffle broke out when one of about five anti-Israel protesters who showed up screamed hateful slogans while waving a swastika at the Jews.

The Star's biased, slanted version
of the pro-Israel demo
But the Toronto Star's report deceitfully, almost maliciously, characterized the pro-Israel rally as violent, though the scuffle was so small and so brief, it went unnoticed by all but a few of the attendees. Instead, The Star was fixated on giving the anti-Israel extremists prominence, particularly featuring a fanatic by the name of Yves Engler who showed up to hurl abuse at the pro-Israel demonstration.

The Star's David Rider reported that "Engler, an atheist from B.C. who said he has no ties to the conflict, called the event 'a pro-war rally dressed up with lots of talk about peace.' "

If The Star's reporter, or one of its fact-checkers had bothered to spend about 10 seconds doing a Google search, they would have instantly learned that Yves Engler, who "has no ties to the conflict," is a hard-core anti-Israel zealot who has written books accusing the Jewish state of apartheid. Another five seconds of looking would have showed them that Engler was removed from office as Vice President of Concordia University's student union for disrupting a speech by Israel's current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Which doesn't exactly sound like someone "with no ties to the conflict."

The type of reporting The Star is providing makes it seem like it is more interested in being the print edition of the depraved, neo-Marxist, anti-western propaganda webzine rabble.ca than in honest news reporting.

If so, that's its own business.  But in a business where integrity and honesty is critical, it's no surprise Toronto Star readers are abandoning it in multitudes in search of reliable, truthful journalism.

York Centre MP Mark Adler speaks at pro-Israel rally

"Bubbles and dancing for peace" at pro-Israel rally
Keren Zeitlin spoke of her mother treating injured Palestinians from Gaza


Anonymous said...

Powerful breakdown of the sort of perverse (and pervasive) bias here.

It's fine to be biased, and there's no law against ignorance. But presenting incredibly biased activists as outsiders and whitewashing reality...that's ridiculous.

The Toronto Star *should* be ashamed of itself...but after reading your write-up, they'll probably just pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

mrzee said...

The Star's anti-Israel bias is nothing new. I lost about one third of my subscribers for my paper route in a Jewish nieghbourhood after the Six Day War.

Anonymous said...

Considering the issue of the Star's lying lefty slant - as the folks at Fox News in the States, and in the future from Sun News Network - truth and honesty sells, and Fox is getting richer every year, and MSNBC, CNN, other lefty news networks are dying. That is a reality. Takes awhile to really genuinely piss off Conservatives, but when you do, we fight back to win.

Some dude said...

Jews and friend of Jews have only one job, and that is to bear witness to the Truth.

The truth is free will exists in this world. Regardless of our religious demonination we can agree that at some point in the future, God's Will shall become manifest and at that point there will be no Free Will.

But for now, while it exists, people can choose to believe in lies or they can choose to believe in truth. That's why God allows so many lies to be spread, so that in the face of the obvious truth, if someone wishes to believe in lies, there are plenty of lies to take.

So it's not our job to convince anyone of anything. All we are required to do is give people the opportunity to recognize the truth and take it. If they want it, great! If not, that's their choice and they have to live with it.