Is the Canadian and international media starting to change how it reports the conflict in Gaza?/ Israeli sniper wounds a Canadian doctor

tarek loubani injuredDr. Tarek Loubani, a Canadian medical doctor, was one of the hundreds shot by Israeli snipers on Monday. Will this influence how the Canadian public sees the carnage in Gaza? There was already some evidence that the Israeli killings of unarmed protesters was starting to influence how mainstream publications are reporting the events. Not all, but some are becoming more openly critical of the astonishing Israeli violence. Read more.

A Canadian emergency room doctor has been shot in the leg while treating patients injured in violent clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in eastern Gaza, reported the London Free Press.

Tarek Loubani, from London Ontario, was part of a medical team testing out 3D-printed tourniquets on wounded patients as protests unfolded in Gaza on Monday. At least 61 people, including a paramedic in his medical team, have been killed, and almost 2000 injured in the worst bloodshed in the region since 2014.

The scene in eastern Gaza was bad since early morning,” Loubani wrote in a statement posted online Monday.  Loubani’s account of what happened to him is calm and clinical. He carefully recounts where he was and how he was wounded.

He says that at the time he was shot he was very far from the Israeli imposed perimeter fence, far from protesters and clearly identified as a medic. It is not clear if his shooting was a random bullet fired into the crowd of peaceful Palestinians, or if he was deliberately targeted as a medic. Several other medics, including a close colleague of Loubani were also killed on Friday.

Seven weeks of repeated large scale killings of unarmed protesters, and individual events like Dr. Loubani’s wounding, seem to have provoked a slight change in the way mainstream media in Canada (and in the US) are reporting the Great March of Return in Gaza.

While there are still many headlines which studiously avoid assigning blame (eg. using phrases like “clashes turning violent,” “violence turning bloody,” etc.) there are an increasing number of headlines which point clearly to Israeli violence.

Grafton Ross, CTIP’s vice-chair and head of CTIP’s research department has done a quick review of headlines from Canada and around the world. He thinks that journalists and editors are increasingly offended by the wanton killing, particularly when juxtaposed against the Louis-XIV-like pomp and insouciance of the US embassy opening in Jerusalem.

Some Canadian headlines:

Globe and Mail – Israeli forces kill dozens in Gaza as U.S. moves embassy to Jerusalem

Toronto Star – Palestinians mourn dozens killed by Israeli troops in mass protest

hamas mlk

One of the suprising developments has been the sight of Hamas leaders like these calling for widespread non-violent resistance and invoking the memory of people like Gandhi, MLK and Mandela

Some international headlines:

New York Times – Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border as US Embassy Opens in Jerusalem

Independent (UK) – At least 58 Palestinians killed and thousands injured by Israeli forces amid protests at US embassy in Jerusalem

Irish Times – Palestinians count dead after day of carnage on Gaza border

Washington Post – Israelis kill more than 50 Palestinians in Gaza protests, health officials say

Haaretz (Israel) – Jerusalem Embassy and Gaza Protests: 58 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Gunfire at Border

Boston Globe – 58 Palestinians killed, hundreds wounded from Israeli fire amid embassy move

WCPO – (Cincinnati)  – 55 dead in Gaza protests as Israel fetes US Embassy move

Radio New Zealand – NZ condemns Israel’s actions along Gaza border

New York Daily News – Dozens of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces at Gaza border, thousands injured in protests over U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem

Australian Broadcasting net – Israeli forces kill dozens in Gaza protests as anger mounts over US embassy move to Jerusalem

NBC News – Scores dead in Gaza fence protest as U.S. moves embassy to Jerusalem

CNBC – Israeli forces kill dozens in Gaza as US Embassy opens in Jerusalem

Financial Times – At least 52 Palestinians killed in Gaza protests


LA Times – Celebration in Jerusalem as U.S. moves embassy, bloodshed in Gaza as dozens of Palestinians killed

Market Watch – Dozens of Palestinians, including children, killed in Gaza clashes as U.S. opens Jerusalem embassy

Telegraph (UK) – Gaza braces for protests and funerals a day after at least 55 Palestinians killed by Israeli troops

Canadian political reaction

Some Canadian politicians also are reflecting the change (though Prime Minister Trudeau has been careful to avoid the topic so far.)

Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal NDP tweeted a strong condemnations. “The firing upon of unarmed Palestinians by the Israeli military & resulting death toll is horrific – our govt’s shameful silence must end. I condemn this violation of I’ntl law & human rights and call on Israel to end the violence & occupation immediately

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada was equally clear. “Trump’s reckless decision to move embassy has increased violence. Canada must pressure Israel to cease excessive force against civilians.”

Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, on the other hand, still refuses to call out Israel directly. Instead she says she is concerned by “violence” without saying who is being violent. “Deeply concerned by violence in Gaza Strip. We are saddened by deaths + injuries that occurred today + over past weeks. It is inexcusable that civilians, journalists + children have been victims. All parties to the conflict have a responsibility to ensure civilians are protected.”

Will the horrific events in Gaza be a “tipping point?”. It’s too soon to tell. Israel has the military firepower power to prevent Palestinians from exercising their rights. But at what cost to its international reputation? It would certainly seem that some change is in the air.


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  1. The Israelis are fully capable of preventing a breach of the fence without killing anyone. They kill because they choose to. Shooting is their method of extrajudicial execution (aka murder). They have frequently threatened assassination of leaders who oppose them Now they do it in the open.

    We should not use the word “border” when discussing the fence to Gaza. A border generally separates two countries. Israel is on one side of that fence, but what country is on the other side? The land on the other side was under the control of Israel until they walled it off to turn it into a prison. The fence is a prison wall, not a border.

    When East Germany erected a wall and shot people who were trying to get out, we expressed our disapproval. Why not now?

    1. In fact, Israel still exercises substantive control over Gaza: that fence is NOT a border (it corresponds to the 1948 and 1967 armistice lines, but the State of Israel in fact does not have any fixed borders…). Israel is recognized as the occupying power in Gaza, because they control the borders, the airspace, the sea… and also the currency, the economy and the civil registry (all ID, therefore all travel documents. This fact is recognized by the US State Dept, the UK Foreign Office, the EU, the UN and all major international organizations.
      As occupying power, Israel has specific responsibilities towards the occupied population, under the Geneva Conventions. These obligations include not shooting unarmed civilians.

  2. Peter, As it Happens just broadcast these interviews,

    and a statement Trudeau made was on CBC 7:00 p.m. news, but I can’t find a link. Thank you and Grafton Ross for this post. Diana

    On Tue, May 15, 2018 at 4:58 PM, Canada Talks Israel/Palestine wrote:

    > Peter Larson posted: “Dr. Tarek Loubani, a Canadian medical doctor, was > one of the hundreds shot by Israeli snipers last Friday. Will this > influence how the Canadian public sees the carnage in Gaza? There was > already some evidence that the Israeli killings of unarmed protester” >

  3. From a skeptic: Tear gas and change have been the air since the first intifada, and probably years earlier. But here we are. For justice it has been the same old parade: one step forward, two steps back.

    1. Hey Robert, sorry you feel that way. I think that, like tectonic plates, things change even when they appear to be the same. But it takes a frustratingly long time…

  4. Our government hasn’t said a word about the killing of the innocent Palestinians.

    On Tue, May 15, 2018, 4:59 PM Canada Talks Israel/Palestine, wrote:

    > Peter Larson posted: “Dr. Tarek Loubani, a Canadian medical doctor, was > one of the hundreds shot by Israeli snipers last Friday. Will this > influence how the Canadian public sees the carnage in Gaza? There was > already some evidence that the Israeli killings of unarmed protester” >

  5. This killing of Palestinian protesters by Israeli snipers at the Gaza Israel fence must stop, even though it is atrocities iike these that can sometimes bring about a positive change.. PM Trudeau’s statement. Is welcome but gives no clear path towards peace other than negotiations between the parties which are futile.. Only an internationally supported two state solution with recognized borders between Israel and Palestine with their capitals in West and East Jerusalem respectively and a shared international regime for the hoky sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam can bring about such a settlement. Hamas must be recognized in the context of a unified Palestinian government. Trudeau should try to influence the Trump proposal in this direction; Trump could save further money by building his embassy to Palestine across the Green line in East Jerusalem as an extension to his new embassy to Israel.. This would be a sure winner for Canada’s UNSC election which is not going well.
    Maybe Trudeau (in the spirit of Pearson) Trump Nobel dual peace prize would be close behind now that NKorean peace process has stalled – so also a boost for Canada USA forein policy coopertion.

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