Are we witnessing a change in the CBC’s official “Terror” policy? In the past, CBC News sanitized terror by describing individuals and their attacks against civilians in broad political terms like: "militants", "insurgents", and even "activists".
Yesterday, CBC reported that Israeli “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to ‘extract a heavy price’ from the backers of a terrorist attack that killed five Israeli tourists in Bulgaria on Wednesday and which he blamed on Iran.”
And in a recent article titled: “Hamilton Men Unwittingly helped 1972 Munich Terrorists”, the CBC reported: “When they jumped the fence they weren’t alone. They met some other men who turned out to be members of Black September, a Palestinian terrorist organization that killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Olympic Games”.
Ioanna Roumeliotis’ feature report saw this CBC journalist describe the Munich attack as the "worst terrorist attack in modern Olympic history”. Introducing the report on the National, CBC’s flagship program, host Paul Hunter accurately described it as a "terrorist attack".
Will the words “terror” and variants be permanently instated in our public broadcaster’s lexicon? The CBC’s elective choice to describe the Munich and Bulgaria attacks against Israeli civilians as constituting terrorism is a welcome change that we applaud and consider an important precedent for the CBC. We also acknowledge CBC reporter Sasa Petricic’s statement on the National on July 19 where he noted that Israel is "a country where terror attacks are far less common than they used to be."
Notwithstanding, we note that these two terror attacks occured outside of Israel’s borders targeting Israeli civilians in foreign countries. What remains to be seen is if CBC will describe future terror attacks in Israel proper and those abroad uniformly or will CBC only use the term when Israelis and others are targeted abroad? For the CBC, does present-day terror not exist within Israel’s borders?