Canadian journalists castigated by media watchdog

HonestReporting Canada: Comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany have no place in Canadian or international media.

idf troops in Gaza 298.88 (photo credit: )
idf troops in Gaza 298.88
(photo credit: )
Holocaust comparisons are definitely becoming more commonplace in the media, according to Mike Fegelman, executive director of HonestReporting Canada (HRC), a pro-Israel media watchdog. "These kind of comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany have no place in Canadian media or any international news media for that matter," Fegelman said. He was speaking in the wake of the release Sunday of the Global Forum Against Anti-Semitism report, showing that Israeli-Nazi comparisons and anti-Semitic incidents had reached a two-decade high. HRC has mounted a campaign against Toronto Sun columnist and foreign correspondent Eric Margolis for comparing Operation Cast Lead in Gaza to the Nazi's "final solution" against the Jews. In a January 12 piece that appeared on his personal Web site, Margolis wrote, "It now seems clear the last disastrous act of the Bush administration was giving Israel a green light to launch its final solution campaign against the Hamas government in Gaza." Also in his article, Margolis quoted "a high-ranking Vatican official" who characterized Gaza as "a concentration camp." Margolis also warned that "Comparisons with the Warsaw ghetto uprising will inevitably be made." HRC is calling on the Sun "to reconsider using Eric Margolis as a political pundit given his use of Nazi terminology in reference to Israel," according to a press release. "What Margolis wrote is inflammatory and ridiculous and we think the media should reconsider using him because of his comments," Fegelman said. "This qualifies as anti-Semitism according to both the European Union and the US State Department's definition." Meanwhile, Sid Ryan, head of the Ontario section of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), has also come under fire recently for his anti-Israel rhetoric. Ryan, who recently renewed a campaign calling for a ban on Israeli academics in Canada, said that the ban would take place "unless they [Israeli academics] explicitly condemn [Israel's] assault on Gaza." Ryan has also equated the Jewish state with Nazi Germany and put out a press release on the union's Web site describing Israel's actions in Gaza as a "massacre." Ryan's remarks and actions have led some union members to call for his resignation. The press release calling Israel's operation a "massacre" was taken off CUPE's Web site, and Ryan was forced to apologize for his remark equating Israel with Nazi Germany. "Media are entitled to write what they want, within reason," argued Fegelman. "In the case of Margolis and Ryan, we see this as either a conscious or subconscious effort to delegitimize the Holocaust."