There is plenty of evidence that the chant, “From the river to the sea,” is not a cry for freedom but a genocidal statement that demands the destruction of Israel.The CBC is not a regular media outlet. It’s a state broadcaster, which gets its mandate from the government, and is showered with public funds.
The CBC’s privileged relationship with the government creates special responsibilities — one of the most important of which is a dedication to political neutrality, where possible.
In an ideal world, a state broadcaster faithfully serves the public interest and refrains from cheerleading for a particular political party. To abandon this responsibility and become a partisan mouthpiece is to allow the state to effectively put its thumbs on the scales of democracy.
Some of the CBC’s defenders have accused its critics of hypocrisy. For example, NDP MP Charlie Angus inaccurately claimed that Postmedia, receives around $35 million in government subsidies “every year,” and wondered why Postmedia isn’t considered “government funded” in the same way that CBC is.
Canada is not an authoritarian state, obviously, but that doesn’t mean that it is perfect. More importantly, the success of our democracy doesn’t absolve us of the responsibility to maintain democratic norms to the best of our abilities, including the neutrality of our state media.
Khaled Mashal, Hamas’s former leader, was absolutely clear about what it meant.
“Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north,” Mashal said in a 2012 speech, according to the Associated Press. “There will be no concession on any inch of the land.”
On that note, according to the CBC, anyone who dares criticize the phrase, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” is guilty of racism and Islamophobia.