Commentary  The Daily’s editorial line is discriminatory


Re: “Birthright: Ten days in apartheid Israel” (September 8, Features, page 12).

It is increasingly evident that The Daily’s coverage of Israel reflects a firmly illiberal and intolerant journalistic philosophy which stifles genuine diversity of thought, democratic debate, and pluralistic dissent in favor of monistic arguments, prejudice, bigotry, and dogmatic ideological doctrine.

There are plenty of good reasons to criticize the Israeli state; all sovereign states merit such criticism because enormous power rests with states and this power can be, and often is, abused.

However, The Daily’s coverage of Israel is rarely critical in a constructive, evidence-based, and rigorous way as much as it is hateful. It incites hatred in that it depicts Israel and Israelis in invidious essentialized ways. These consist overwhelmingly of denigrating and demonizing stereotypes in which Israelis lack humanity, complexity, and moral, intellectual, and emotional depth and nuance.

It is time for The Daily to take stock of the ethics of its coverage and its harmful effects on the McGill community.
I have been told by Daily editors that The Daily maintains a policy of discrimination against Jews who do not share its editorial line.

Such discrimination is morally and legally indefensible.

The Daily marginalizes, vilifies, and outright excludes Jewish students and other members of the McGill community who uphold the principle that universal human rights apply as much to Jews as to all peoples on the basis of equality, and that Jews have a right to self-determination in Israel, as affirmed by the UN General Assembly, Security Council and international human rights law.

The Daily’s discrimination has become so normalized that it no longer recognizes it and insists, proudly and perversely, upon its legitimacy.

The Daily must cease to play a role in the very oppression of minorities whose rights and welfare it so passionately purports to defend.

—Noam Schimmel, Associate Fellow, McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism