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Writer who said ‘Jews’ can stay but ‘Zionist ideology’ can’t, no longer with CTV

The Toronto Sun

October 26, 2023


Yara Jamal can still hold her opinion that the “Zionist” state of Israel “cannot” exist, but it won’t be as an employee of CTV.

Word came Thursday that a staffer listed on the CTV Atlantic web page as a “web writer and production assistant” who said “Zionist ideology cannot” exist is no longer employed there.

“Oct. 2023: Yara Jamal is no longer with CTV Atlantic,” is the update above her profile on the CTV web page.

CTV News also confirmed this.

It is unclear if Jamal was fired or whether she left on her own accord. What is clear, is she is no longer there.

“While we don’t comment on specific staffing matters we can confirm that Yara Jamal is no longer with CTV News,” said a CTV News spokesperson.

Jamal’s sudden departure from CTV stemmed from Sunday’s Pro-Palestinian protest in Halifax in which the journalist appeared to be an organizer who told SaltWire Network that “Jews can continue to exist, the Zionist ideology cannot,” and when further questioned, doubled down by saying “the state, no, cannot exist.”

In addition to it crossing the line to becoming a protester while working for a news organization covering said protests, the issue that drove CTV to investigate was her comments that Jewish Canadians found offensive and troubling and wondering if that view was affecting the network’s coverage and social media postings.

Mostly it was a mean comment that no one would get away with if it were not Jews and Israel targetted.

“Telling Jews they cannot live in their indigenous lands and villainizing Zionism, an essential component of the Jewish faith, is anti-Semitic,” said B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn. “When members of the media expose their prejudices and biases publicly, something they should have been trained professionally not to do, they have lost their ability to be perceived as objective disseminators of the news.”

While there is leeway afforded to commentators and columnists to express their views, it is different for those recording or reporting on news events. This employee also tested the line that no other person would be able to say if her comments were directed toward Muslims or Islamic states without severe repercussions.

In the case of NDP MPP Sarah Jama, similar views resulted in her being removed from her party’s caucus. In the case of an anti-Semitic comment online, a Canadian pilot who wore a Palestinian scarf while in uniform also left his company.

A Toronto Police officer, and a Toronto Community Housing officer are currently under probe by the Professional Standard’s unit while faculty and union leaders face internal backlash but still have their jobs.

Jamal no longer has hers.

The Toronto Sun has been unable to reach her for comment from the beginning and it appears social media accounts are no longer accessible. The latest email to her was returned with: “The individual you are trying to reach is no longer with Bell.”

It is an unfortunate outcome for a young talent who her biography says the English and Arabic-speaking journalist “originally from Palestine” had “turned her passion for storytelling into a career.”

In addition to CTV she also “interned for the SaltWire Network as a video-journalist and multimedia editor” and was “part of the “Reporting in Mi’kma’ki” class at the University of King’s College, where she reported on the Eskasoni Fish and Wildlife Commission in Unama’ki/Cape Breton” and “won gold for the Canadian Online Publishing Awards in the Multicultural category.”

But it was the quote’s suggestion Israel didn’t have a right to exist as a country, weeks after its worst-ever terror attack in which 1,400 citizens were slaughtered, that got her removed from the prestigious CTV position.