Dear HonestReporting Canada Subscriber, There is an important line separating legitimate opinion that enhances the public discourse, frominflammatory rhetoric that interferes with constructive dialogue.
On September 30, the Globe and Mail published an inflammatory anti-Israel missive on its website by Gerald Caplan (pictured right), the ex-NDP party campaign organizer entitled (With Friends Like This, Israel Needs No Enemies). In doing so, the Globe saw its respected news platform exploited by a protagonist who altogether seeks to demonize and vilify the Jewish state of Israel.
Gerald Caplan described the Israeli government as being composed of a bunch of “ethnic cleansers” and “Taliban-like religious fundamentalists,” he then equated the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) collectively with them too. These statements, as most rational people can tell, went well beyond the pale. Caplan’s efforts to malign observant Israelis (whom he has left unnamed) as being equivalent to the Taliban (a terrorist group responsible for the death of thousands of innocent civilians and which imposes violent Sharia law against women) are abhorrent and have only served to expose this Globe contributor as the extremist that he portrays others as being. As the IDF is a mirror of the whole of Israeli society, his claim that the IDF reflects “hate-filled extremists” has cast aspersions on all Israelis, men and women, secular and observant, young and old, and Arabs and Jews. In making these statements, Gerald Caplan should be widely condemned and admonished.
HonestReporting Canada communicated these concerns to the Globe and Mail’s Editor-In-Chief, John Stackhouse, noting that it’s time for the Globe to insist that Gerald Caplan sticks to constructive opinion that contributes positively to the marketplace of ideas, and not odious rhetoric that erroneously and salaciously tars the Jewish people collectively and the nation of Israel as being terrorist-like extremists.
Responding to our concerns, Mr. Stackhouse and the Globe and Mail agreed to review and to implement new editing protocols to ensure that inflammatory comments like Mr. Caplan’s aren’t given a platform at the Globe. Additionally, the Globe published HonestReporting Canada’s concerns in a prominent letter to the editor that was featured in the October 4th edition. In making these efforts and commitments, the Globe and Mail has responsibly addressed this matter in a manner that deserves commendation. Sentiments which we have already communicated to this publication on behalf of HonestReporting Canada’s 27,000 subscribers.