Dr. 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:
Some international headlines:
New York Times – Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border as US Embassy Opens in Jerusalem
WCPO – (Cincinnati) – 55 dead in Gaza protests as Israel fetes US Embassy move
Radio New Zealand – NZ condemns Israel’s actions along Gaza border
Australian Broadcasting net – Israeli forces kill dozens in Gaza protests as anger mounts over US embassy move to Jerusalem
Financial Times – At least 52 Palestinians killed in Gaza protests
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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