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Caddell misleadingly compares situation in Israel to hypothetical one: Heap

Re: “Israel, with all its flaws, deserves Canada’s support,” (The Hill Times, April 21). The recently published opinion piece by Andrew Caddell contains a number of flagrant misrepresentations. Mr. Caddell quotes a parodic video published by Independent Jewish Voices Canada as saying something it did not. His purported quote is demonstrably false, and misconstrues both the words and the clear intent of the video. As anyone with a reading knowledge of French who consults the video in question can easily verify, it in fact says something quite different, i.e., that this relation is “based on the instrumentalization of the Jewish community in Canada,” (“basée sur l’instrumentalisation de la communauté juive au Canada.”)
Mr. Caddell’s misrepresentations go beyond a sloppy rendition of the French subtitles. He also misleadingly compares the situation of Israel to a hypothetical one where “if nuclear weapons in upstate New York were aimed at Canada,” when in fact, exactly the opposite comparison would be accurate. The only military power in the Middle East capable of threatening its neighbours with nuclear weapons is Israel, a longstanding hold-out non-signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (a fact that a former employee of Global Affairs Canada can reasonably be expected to know, even if The Hill Times doesn’t check).
Readers understand that “opinion” pieces are not held to the same standards of fact checking as journalistic reporting, but writers like Mr. Caddell should not be enabled to publish patently false claims in support of their opinions.
David Heap
Associate professor
University of Western Ontario

London, Ont. 

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