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To the editor of CBC Opinion – Dr. Ruth Ashrafi


Dr. Ruth Ashrafi – B’nai Brith Canada

April 11, 2022

To the editor of CBC Opinion

In this morning’s article on the war in Ukraine, Idris Elbakri expresses gratitude that the Canadian people are capable of taking decisive positions and actions in the face of occupation. But then, alas, according to Elbakri, we are applying a double standard to other conflicts in the world. He states that when Israel shelled Gaza last year, and many times before, Canada affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself, but not the right of the Palestinians to resist their occupation and colonization, or even to defend themselves. Therefore, according to Elbakri, the Canadian reaction smacks of racism and tribalism.

Elbakri conveniently leaves out the latest news from Israel: a wave of Palestinian terror attacks on Israeli civilians. The latest attack happened last night in Tel Aviv. Pictures of Palestinians handing out candies to celebrate these murders were widely published in news outlets and on the internet. 

With respect to the Russian invasion in Ukraine, Elbakri is directly contradicted by President Zelensky himself, who compared Ukraine’s security issues with those faced by Israel. “I think all our people will be our great army… We will definitely become a ‘big Israel’ with its own face.” 

Finally, regarding the 2021 Gaza war, Elbakri omits the fact that Hamas fired between 3,500 and 4,000 rockets from Gaza to Israel. He also does not mention that Israel withdrew unilaterally from Gaza in 2005 and returned that territory to the Palestinian Authority. After elections, Hamas came to power in 2007, and they have not held any elections since. Without a democratic mandate, Hamas is effectively oppressing the Gaza population. This is especially reprehensible because Hamas fights its conflicts with Israel from areas populated by civilians. 

Most Canadians that I know are not racist and tribal. They are well aware of the facts and we would hope the CBC is aware of that.

According to the CBC, the contents for articles on this page must adhere to CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices and all columns are fact-checked by CBC staff. 

If the CBC thinks that its opinion page is the right place for people to throw mud at the wall and see what sticks at a time when Israeli civilians are under attack, it clearly has succeeded. 

Dr. Ruth Ashrafi

Regional Director Manitoba

B’nai Brith Canada

204 487 9623 x 181

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