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Honest Reporting Takes Aim at U of M Assoc. Prof Jonah Corne for writing in The Manitoban that Hamas Oct 7 attacks are due to "Colonial Occupation"

posted here Feb 1, 2024

U of M Student Newspaper Says Hamas Attacks Due ot "Colonial Occupation"

by Honest Reporting, January 17, 2024

A recent column in The Manitoban on January 9 by University of Manitoba Associate Professor Jonah Corne chimed in on the debate about the freedom of expressing controversial views, whether teaching materials, or an editorial cartoon.

Corne’s column entitled: “Reflections on Israel-Palestine, teaching and the suspension of Arij Al Khafagi,”made some spurious, even false claims about Israel, and overall untrue statements regarding the conflict.

In one part, Corne discussed the recent case of a nursing student at the University of Manitoba who posted a cartoon comparing Israel to the Nazis, and who was suspended from school as a result. Corne came to her defence, writing that “it is overwhelmingly the case that punitive actions, when they arise, have to do with speech that casts Israel in a negative light rather than, say, speech about the total collectivity of Palestinians couched in dehumanizing rhetoric.”

Besides the fact that Corne did not provide any statistics or data to back up his claim regarding the ratio of “punitive actions”, he compared apples and oranges and utilized linguistic tricks to minimize the crimes of one side (Palestinians) while maximizing the crimes of another (Israel).

One doesn’t need to look so far to see how Jews are depicted in a “dehumanizing” way on an egregious, and regular basis – be it on campus, on the streets, on social media, and so on.

Antisemitism has spiked to an all-time high across many parts of the Western world. Yet while anti-Israel rallies frequently feature hateful speech against Israel (and often Jews in general), pro-Israel rallies strike a remarkably different and peaceful tone.

Delving deeper into anti-Israel misinformation, Corne wrote that the Hamas massacres of October 7 emerged “out of conditions of colonial occupation, involved unambiguous atrocities — Israel has responded with atrocities and civilian-slaughtering of its own of an order of magnitude several times higher.”

Corne again played the moral equivalence game – comparing two “atrocities” – but one of them, from Hamas, should be excused by “colonial occupation,” while the other, from Israel, is implied to be wanton destruction of life without any rhyme or reason. He doesn’t grasp how Hamas intentionally targeted innocent civilians for grotesque murder and torture, while Israel takes enormous steps to avoid civilian casualties, even while Hamas intentionally turns Gaza’s population into human shields.

The idea that Israel is guilty of “civilian-slaughtering” is a damning charge and if the writer cannot provide proof, he is only fomenting further animus towards Israel and any of its supporters.

Those who have seen some of the videos taken by the Hamas terrorists during their slaughter will understand that the perpetrators – in addition to throngs of civilian supporters – carried out their inhumane acts with glee. In one recorded phone call, a terrorist gleefully boasts to his mother that he killed ten Jews. For Hamas, and their friends, their stated goal is extermination of Jews: this is a religious holy war, not a war against “colonial occupation.”

If anything, for nearly 20 years Gaza’s population has been “occupied” by the genocidal Hamas regime, which has suppressed freedom, jeopardized the health of their brethren, and starved a nation. Indeed, there are scores of reports and studies conducted that show the abject povertysqualor and corruption inside of Gaza is a direct result of the noxious authoritarian Hamas-led government. The real injustice here is that two million Gazans are suffering, because their leaders have diverted tens of billions in aid, to pursue a lust for blood.

Corne’s column lazily regurgitates pro-Hamas talking points all while demonstrating a near-total lack of historical context and nuance. Make no mistake, even if you wrongly consider Israel to be “colonizers,” there is no justification for terrorism.

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