CBC’s Censure of Media Criticism on Israel/Palestine

February 26, 2009

The News Release below is from the U.S. media watch group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), challenging the CBC’s bias against Palestinians.

Press Release

FAIR Challenges CBC Ombud’s Report

2/4/09

As the BBC continues to come under fire for refusing to carry an aid appeal for Gaza, the U.S. media watch group FAIR is challenging the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for making false and biased claims after a campaign by groups that advocate for uncritical coverage of Israel.

The campaign was launched in response to CBC‘s October 23, 2008 airing of the 2003 educational documentary Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land. The film cited a FAIR report on U.S. media coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict, prompting the CBC‘s French-language radio ombud Julie Miville-Dechêne to question the independence of FAIR’s research, referring to the organization as a “pro-Palestinian” and “militant group.”

FAIR is an independent nonprofit group whose research is widely cited by respected media scholars in both the U.S. and Canada. Its spokespersons have appeared on several occasions on the CBC to discuss issues ranging from media coverage of the Kosovo War to radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Faulting the film for “failure to account for the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip,” Miville-Dechêne also cited a 2001 FAIR study that found only 4 percent of U.S. network news reports “concerning Gaza or the West Bank mention that these are occupied territories” as an example of an “anachronism” in the documentary, because Israel had subsequently withdrawn military forces and settlements from Gaza.

Under international law, however, Gaza remains an occupied territory, because Israel continues to control its borders. FAIR’s finding of a chronic failure by leading American media organizations to mention the occupation is actually even more true today: a search of the Lexis Nexis database during the most recent war (12/2/08-1/18/09) reveals that the percentage of network news programs about Gaza or the West Bank that mentioned the occupation has fallen from 4 to only 2 percent.

While the ombud said FAIR’s 2001 finding that only 4 percent of U.S. news reports mentioned the occupation was “shocking,” the coverage on CBC‘s own evening newscast, The National, from the same period was roughly equivalent, with only 5 percent of reports concerning Gaza or the West Bank referring to occupation.

FAIR contributing writer Seth Ackerman, who authored the report, today issued a response to the president of the CBC, which is available online at:

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3712.

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Feel free to respond to FAIR ( fair@fair.org ). We can’t reply to everything, but we will look at each message. We especially appreciate documented examples of media bias or censorship. And please send copies of your correspondence with media outlets, including any responses, to fair@fair.org.

Please remember to alert FAIR to any media bias you may encounter.

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Celebrate Canadian Landmine Action Week: Feb 23-Mar 1!

February 24, 2009

Canadian Landmine Action Week is fast approaching!

It’s that time of year again!  The 10th annual Canadian Landmine Action Week (CLAW) will take place from February 23rd-March 1st, 2009.

In the past, the participation of our supporters during CLAW has helped reinforce the Canadian public’s and government’s commitment to realizing a world free of landmines and cluster bombs.  We would like to thank you for your continued support and ask you to join us – virtually or in person – in Canadian Landmine Action Week activities!

Ten years ago on March 1st, the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty became international humanitarian law! Last December, the work of Canadians, concerned civil society groups, as well as supportive governments around the world, resulted in the newly created Convention on Cluster Munitions. Together, these international treaties outline state obligations on these indiscriminate weapons, and affirm the global community’s commitment to end the suffering they create. From words to concrete action, the fulfillment of these goals is becoming a reality. As Canadians, we have played a fundamental role in clearing the dangerous and devastating path left by these weapons.

Despite these achievements, as you are well aware, there is still much to be done. Canadian Landmine Action Week (CLAW) 2009 (February 23 – March 1, 2009) is the time to reinforce Canada’s commitment to the safety of civilians around the world! It is our chance to let the world know that we want to see the removal of all barriers inhibiting the full realization of a world free of landmines and cluster bombs – the barriers are real and their consequences are lethal.

There are MANY ways you can participate – click here to find out how!

Read full story >>


MAC launches BOMBS AWAY! button drive!

BOMBS AWAY! logoDuring Canadian Landmine Action Week (CLAW), MAC will be launching our BOMBS AWAY! lapel button drive!

The new BOMBS AWAY! buttons are an ideal fundraising tool – these eye-catching accessories are a great way to raise funds in schools, workplaces or in your community. Perfect incentive for a casual or hat day! Sell them by donation, and use them as an opportunity to tell people about the issues of cluster bombs and landmines.

Although we are launching the campaign during CLAW, the button drive will last for the rest of the year. If you or your group are interested in this campaign for CLAW or later on, please email claw@minesactioncanada.org for more information or call 613 241 3777!


CAF News Release: Response to Mr. Jason Kenney, M.P.

February 24, 2009

The following News Release by the Canadian Arab Federation is in response to Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney’s threats to cut funding to newcomer service agencies served by the CAF.

By these latest actions, Mr. Kenney shows that his government will use the threat of funding cuts to silence any voices it deems dissenting, especially those that dare to be critical of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians, its egregious human rights violations, and its illegal occupation of Arab lands.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 19, 2009

Response to Mr. Jason Kenney, M.P.

The Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) finds it deeply regrettable that Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney, has threatened to cut funding to newcomer service agencies served by the CAF and has used the remarks made by CAF’s president, Khaled Mouammar while Israel was committing war crimes in Gaza, as an excuse to malign and intimidate Arab and Muslim communities who have suffered and continue to suffer from marginalization, threats and the muzzling of their voices.

We note with disappointment that this most recent attack on the CAF is part of a campaign waged by Mr. Kenney who has targeted and systematically vilified the CAF. In January 2008, Mr. Kenney smeared and stereotyped the Arab community during one of his exchanges with a Liberal MP in the House of Commons, and he described CAF as a racist organization in a speech in Bucharest Romania in June 2007. Mr. Kenney’s most recent attack on CAF came just 3 days ago at an anti-Semitism conference in London, England where he labeled the CAF and Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) as groups that promote anti-Semitism. This characterization is slanderous and untrue on a number of levels. The CAF works with many Jewish anti-Zionist groups on a variety of projects. Furthermore, Arabs are a Semitic people, so Mr. Kenney’s unfounded allegations and intimidating threats against the CAF misrepresent the organization and our community and work to inflame and divide Canadians. .

Since 1992, CAF’s settlement programs have demonstrated a solid record of success that is available for any interested party to examine and review. These programs are thoroughly audited and have been praised for the efficiency and dedication with which they are implemented. Threatening to cut funding for these programs is a form of indiscriminate and collective punishment upon people who require these services. We wonder what motivated the Minister to issue this threat. If it stems from a disagreement with our position on certain political issues, we strongly believe that this constitutes an infringement on our freedoms and rights as guaranteed by the Charter. We have consistently sought to empower our community to speak its mind and participate fully, openly and unabashedly in the Canadian democratic process. Mr. Kenney’s comments serve to set this endeavour back. Is the muting of our voices is now a condition for receiving funding and support from our government? This is a matter of grave concern to all agencies providing language and settlement services to immigrants and newcomers.

Mr. Kenney’s comments, whether intentionally or unintentionally, perpetuate negative sentiments towards Arab and Muslim Canadians. These come directly after the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) released a report stating that “Canada should strengthen its domestic violence laws and stop religious discrimination against Muslims…and do more to improve the welfare of its Aboriginal citizens”.

We call upon the Harper government to adopt a zero tolerance approach to expressions of Islamophobia and Arabophobia (the latter of which is a form of anti-Semitism), in the public arena. The government must recognize Islamophobia and Arabophobia for what they are, pernicious evils that must be exposed, confronted and repudiated whenever and where ever they appear, evils so profound that they are ultimately a threat to us all.

The CAF will continue to provide its services to all Canadians and expects that funds will be unchanged for programs that we have implemented with excellence. The CAF will not be intimidated into silence and will defend the rights and freedoms of our communities as protected under the Charter. We will continue to combat racism and uphold the rights of racialized groups and human rights in Canada and abroad, as well as to vigorously expose the serious human rights violations perpetuated by Israel against the Palestinian people and its illegal occupation of Arab lands.

For more information, please contact:

Mohamed Boudjenane
CAF Executive Director
416-493-8635 x 23  ed@caf.ca

__________________________________________________
www.caf.ca

Established in 1967, the Canadian Arab Federation is a national, non-partisan, non profit and membership-based organization.  CAF represents Canadian Arabs on issues relating to public policy.


Ontario Health Coalition: Important Town Hall Meetings

February 24, 2009
Save Public Medicare! Information

We need your help to STOP THE HOSPITAL CUTS across ONTARIO.
If you live in the area, please come to one of the following Town Hall Meetings and forward this info widely. We are organizing Town Hall meetings across Ontario and we’ll be sending a province wide list shortly:

Hamilton Health Coalition-Monday, February 23rd,7pm @Michelangelo’s Banquet Centre, 1555 Upper Ottawa Street

Sarnia-Lambton Helath Coaltion- Tuesday, February 24th, 7pm @Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, 411 Greenfield-Petrolia

Windsor Essex Health Coalition-Wednesday, February 25, 7pm @CAW Local 2458/195 Hall, 3400 Somme Ave, Windsor

Trenton-Thursday,February 26th Batawa Community Centre Gd Stn Main, Belleville K8N 4Z8,

Your presence – and a giant turnout – will help send a message that the government cannot ignore. In bad economic times, we need our community hospitals more than ever.

Recent cuts announced:
Hamilton
Emergency room closing -McMaster; $21 million cut from budget – Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS); 400 nurses and staff cut – HHS & St. Joseph’s Healthcare; Hospitals in Fort Erie and Port Colborne are also being closed, this will strain Hamilton health care even further

Petrolia
Blue Water Health (Sarnia and Charlotte Eleanor Engleheart Site) – Proposed closure of Petrolia’s emergency room and other services

Windsor
Windsor Regional Hospital- cuts to  neonatal intensive care beds, the pain clinic, respiratory therapy, x-ray services; Windsor Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital-This hospital also faces a deficit and is so over capacity that surgeries had to be canceled this fall due to a lack of beds.

Trenton
Massive cuts to hospital beds in Trenton

The McGuinty government is not giving hospitals the funding they need. In 2008, half of Ontario’s hospitals faced deficits due to chronic underfunding by the McGuinty  government. That  figure is expected to grow to more than 70% of our hospitals in 2009. The government is forcing hospitals to eliminate their deficits – caused by government underfunding, even if  it means cuts to needed patient services.

Ontario’s hospitals are funded less than anywhere else in the country — $100 less per person or $1.2 billion less across the province. They have been cut and restructured for 15 years already. The current cuts will lead to worse access, longer waits and poorer quality of care. Please join us in raising our deep concerns about the impact of these cuts on our access to care.

Your presence matters — we need a show of strength.
Please spread the word as far as you can — ALL ARE WELCOME.


Canadian Crossroads International – Vancouver fundraiser, April 2nd

February 24, 2009

For those in the Vancouver area who may be interested….

Canadian Crossroads Internationally in

An Evening Fundraising Dinner with guest speaker Swaziland MP Nonglanhla Dlamini, with special introduction by the CBC’s Shelagh Rogers.


On April 2, please join us for an inspiring evening of exchange and reflection with longtime friend and Crossroads partner NON HLAN HLA , as she shares her unique perspectives during a special visit to Canada.

Nonhlanhla is the former Executive Director of the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA ), a current CCI partner whose work has provoked amazing results on the ground and in policy. In 2008, she was elected for the first time to Swaziland Parliament.

Event Details:

6 PM, April 2 2009

Pink Pearl Seafood restaurant

1132 E Hastings, Vancouver .BC.

Tickets: $60.00 per person (income tax receipts available)

Reserve your tickets now!

Visit http://bbnc.cciorg.ca/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=268 to purchase tickets online or call Patsy George at 604-687-7115 for more information.

Money raised will support SWA GAA programming

This venue is wheel chair accessible.

Visit our website for details at http://www.cciorg.ca.


OPIRG event: Israeli Apartheid Week Toronto

February 24, 2009

Event: Globalization, Labour and Poverty in Palestine “Israeli Apartheid Week Toronto”

What: Lecture

Host: SAIA-UT, SAIA York and SPHR Ryerson

Start Time: Thursday, March 5 at 7:00pm

End Time: Thursday, March 5 at 9:00pm

Where: Koffler Institute Room 108 – University of Toronto

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below: http://www.facebook.com/n/?event.php&eid=53244276283&aref=63195075


Burger King Exposed

February 19, 2009

Here is another expose from the intrepid Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films:

What would you do with an extra $18,000 in your pocket?

That’s the amount of extra cash each and every Burger King employee in America would have received last year if Goldman Sachs (one of the fast-food chain’s largest owners) had shared its bailout billions with rank-and-file workers. Instead, Goldman Sachs squandered 6.5 billion of our taxpayer dollars on bonuses for their financial staff. These were some of the highest bonuses on Wall Street! Meanwhile, Burger King workers earn wages averaging just $14,000 a year — well below the federal poverty line for a family of three.

Watch the harmful effects of Wall Street’s greed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wABI2dwbQMQ

Goldman Sachs has been having it their way with Burger King workers for too long. It’s high time you had it your way with Goldman Sachs. Tell the Wall Street giant how they could have used the $6.5 billion blown on bonuses. We’re looking for the most creative, constructive, or comical ideas to curb corporate greed and help fix the financial crisis. We will send all ideas to Goldman Sachs as a reprimand for their wastefulness. The winner of the Have It Your Way with Goldman Sachs contest will have their idea featured in our next video. The contest ends March 3.

Pass this video and contest to your friends and family, and don’t forget to digg it. Tell them working people all over the country are pushing back against Wall Street excess. Tell them we’re joining with SEIU and others to stage demonstrations and hold Goldman Sachs accountable! And tell them it’s time to end this era of corporate greed and impunity.

Yours,
Robert Greenwald
and the Brave New Films team

P.S. – Do you think Goldman Sachs should be forced to give back their bailout money to taxpayers, should they have to raise Burger King workers’ wages, explain their spending to the government, or be left alone because they are living the American dream? Vote now in our online poll.

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Brave New Films | 10510 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

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