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Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Instructs Staff Not to Refer to Hamas as ‘Terrorists’

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has instructed journalists not to use the term “terrorists” when reporting on Hamas’ deadly attacks against Israeli forces and civilians. 

“Do not refer to militants, soldiers or anyone else as ‘terrorists,’” George Achi, the director of journalistic standards for the Canadian public broadcaster, wrote in an email to employees Saturday. 

“The notion of terrorism remains heavily politicized and is part of the story,” he added.

The missive was obtained by the nonprofit group StopAntisemitism, which has called for Achi’s firing. 

The Palestinian gunmen stormed the Israeli border along Gaza on Saturday – killing and abducting hundreds of civilian men, women and children.

The CBC executive, however, said it was up for debate whether or not they should be called terrorists.

“Even when quoting/clipping a government or a source referring to fighters as ‘terrorists,’ we should add context to ensure the audience understands this is opinion, not fact,” Achi added.

CBC journalists were also asked to refrain from calling Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 – in which the Jewish state abandoned settlements, military posts and left the Gaza Strip under the control of the Palestinian Authority – “the end” of Israeli occupation of the strip. 

“Please do not describe 2005 as ‘the end of the occupation’ as Israel has maintained control over airspace, seafront, and virtually all movement into or out of the area,” Achi wrote. “Our description should be fact-based, referring to the end of permanent Israeli military presence on the ground.”

“If true, this employee, must be fired,” StopAntisemitism posted on X, after revealing the CBC email. 

“Journalism requires honesty, and sanitizing Hamas’s crimes by failing to call them terrorism is horrifyingly dishonest,” StopAntisemitism Executive Director Liora Rez told The Post. “The CBC should be ashamed to eschew the term when it so obviously applies; if the murder and torture of civilians is not terror, what is?”

“This memo is a vital reminder that words matter,” Rez added. “We encourage employees of other media outlets to reach out and report what’s happening behind the scenes. If your newsroom has a secret pro-Hamas censorship policy, the world needs to know.”

A CBC spokesperson confirmed that Achi’s email was legitimate Tuesday, according to Fox News. 

The representative also insisted that “there is no ban” on using the terms “terrorist” or “terrorism” when the CBC reports on the slaughter of civilians in Israel by Hamas. 

“CBC News attributes the words ‘terrorist’ and ‘terrorism’ to authorities, politicians and other officials who use these terms,” the spokesperson told Fox News in a statement. “There is no ban on these words. However, we ourselves avoid declaring specific groups terrorists, in line with the policies of many reputable news organizations and agencies around the world.”

“The focus of our news coverage is on describing exactly what happened in detail, as we have with all that has transpired this weekend. Our approach has been consistent and ensured CBC’s journalism over decades of conflict in the Middle East lives up to our commitment to accuracy, balance and fairness,” the statement concluded.

In the US, MSNBC has come under fire for similarly couching the language used by reporters in their coverage of the deadly attack on Israel.