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February 16, 2005
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  General News
Probe CBC's Macdonald: B'nai Brith Canada

By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

Canada’s national broadcaster is being pressured to probe comments by the CBC’s Washington reporter Neil Macdonald accusing Israel of war crimes and implying that Israelis living in West Bank and Gaza settlements are legitimate targets for Palestinian terrorism.
$">B’nai Brith Canada and other Jewish community organizations have long accused Macdonald of anti-Israel bias during his time as the CBC’s correspondent in Israel, and now as the CBC’s Washington correspondent.
$">At issue is a comment attributed to Macdonald on the CBC’s website — since removed — on a United Nations reform committee’s proposal to declare “there is nothing in the fact of occupation that justifies the targeting and killing of civilians.”
$">Macdonald commented that while the conflict is not easy to characterize, he added that “Israeli soldiers who enforce the occupation kill a great many Palestinian civilians. If Palestinians have committed terror, the Israelis have certainly committed war crimes.
$">“There is also the question of whether the Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza, thousands of whom are well armed and overtly bellicose, constitute civilians or combatants.”
$">Last May, the CBC apologized when Macdonald chose to interview a pundit who claimed Israel was involved in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse by American soldiers in Iraq.
$">B’nai Brith Canada said the CBC is dependent on Canadian taxpayers for its existence, and called for the network to “review Macdonald’s conduct and act on its findings.
$">The Canadian arm of, the website media watchdog, went further, calling for Macdonald’s dismissal.
$">“While Macdonald appears unable to resist his compulsive urges towards Israel, the CBC has promised its viewers a higher standard of journalism,” the website’ says. “It is now time to deliver on that promise. Macdonald must go.”

2004-12-15 08:39:15

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