CBC owes the people of Palestine an apology

Take one minute.

Write to the Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault.

Over 2,000 people have written to the CBC to condemn its deletion of the word "Palestine" and its subsequent apology for uttering it. Still, the broadcaster insists the word falls outside its standards.

Express your concern about the CBC deletion of the word Palestine and its subsequent apology for using the word Palestine.

Read details in September 11, 2020 article in Mondoweiss

CBC owes the people of Palestine an apology

"We need to continue to take steps to make our publicly funded institutions accountable, and remind the CBC that the Canadian Broadcasting law calls for “programming that reflects Canadian attitudes, opinions, ideas, and values.”  

Read the response that the CBC Director of Journalistic Standards and Practices, Paul Hambleton sent to the 2,000 people who have written the CBC.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is accountable to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.  

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of the country’s largest cultural institutions. CBC/Radio-Canada’s mandate is to inform, enlighten and entertain; to contribute to the sharing of national consciousness and identity; to reflect Canada’s regional and cultural diversity; to provide local, national and international information and analysis from a Canadian perspective; and to contribute to the development of talent and culture in Canada.

The deletion and apology

On August 18, in an interview on the CBC’s The Current, the guest anchor, Duncan McCue introduced his guest, Joe Sacco, referencing Sacco’s work in Bosnia, Iraq and Palestine. Joe Sacco, is a graphic novelist, and the creator of a work called Palestine, and was being interviewed regarding colonization and resource extraction.

This deemed faux pas resulted in quite the flurry with CBC editors as they worked to scrub the word Palestine before the edition could play in time zones of Western Canada. The revised transcript introduced Sacco, saying “your work in conflict zones, Bosnia, Iraq” and closed out “Joe Sacco has spent his career telling stories from conflict zones from the Gaza Strip to Bosnia.” Palestine was deleted.

Joe Sacco has said:

It's ironic that the CBC would apologize for the use of the word "Palestine" for a segment about my book, whose subject is at least partly the attempted obliteration of the cultural identity of indigenous people of the Northwest Territories, particularly through the notorious residential school system. Imagine today if the First Nations people I talked to, the Dene, would be made to apologize for using their word "Denendeh", which means "The Land of the People," for describing where they live. To whom, exactly, was the CBC apologizing for using the word "Palestine"? If anything, this storm over a proper noun brings into relief a similar way the adherents of colonial-settler projects seek to suppress native peoples and then laud their dominance. I'm sure none of this is lost on either Canada's indigenous people or Canadian-Palestinians.

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