Against censorship: a petition

March 29, 2009

In News

By Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR)

Shaw TV has chosen to censor Professor Finkelstein’s lecture given at UBC on January 21, 2009.

Key parts of his speech are bleeped out or removed for no apparent reason other then the fact that they may be of a certain political view. Even facts were not spared including the sentence where Finkelstein mentioned how “400 Palestinian children incinerated” in Israel’s Gaza offensive. Does this sound like freedom of speech? Instead such actions contradict providing balanced and accountable television programming that the company claims to provide.

This censorship is unacceptable and shows the unwillingness of cable companies to publish facts that show the truth about the atrocities committed by Israel even though this fact has been verified by several human rights reports, including those of the United Nations and Amnesty international. Professor Finkelstien should be free to use adjectives of his own choice in his condemnation of Israel. When a country is accused of serious war crimes by the United Nations, there is no need to censor such adjectives when they are clearly not based in any form of anti-semitism or racism.

So join us as we protest Shaw’s blatant infringement on freedom of speech! People have the right to know and hear what Professor Finkelstein has to say without it being censored before broadcast!

Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights at UBC (SPHR-UBC) would like the CRTC and CBSC to take proper action and request that Shaw TV broadcast the whole lecture without any censorship. It is important for Canadian public to know the alternative point of view and political analysis in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian impasse without any censorship. It is also important to realize that censoring talks just because of political disagreements with the content will set a dangerous trend which will be detrimental to what Canada stands for in regards to free speech. As a campus group that recognizes the importance of freedom of speech and political dissidence, we are extremely insulted that our views are being silenced.

To speak out against Shaw TV’s lack of unbiased broadcasting ethics and demand that they rebroadcast the speech without any cuts, PLEASE do the following:

  1. Send an email to with your complaint (you can copy the letter found at the petition)
  2. Sign the online petition
  3. Join the Facebook group, and invite your friends
  4. Make your official complaint to the government at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission; Shaw has a license renewal hearing coming up in the next year. Its important the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) know what people who watch their channel think. Please copy any such complaints to

Transcript and re-cut details

NOTE: The underlined words have been removed or beeped out of the speech

To watch the full, uncut version, please visit Working TV.

… this evening is the background to the Gaza massacre. I’m not trying to use that language for its’ incendiary value, but I don’t think it can be properly described as a war when the ratio of those killed is 100 to 1. By any reasonable standard what we witnessed the last couple of weeks was a massacre or slaughter. It can’t reasonably be called a war, if by war we mean an exchange of fighting between two sides. So I will be referring to it as a massacre, a bloodbath, a slaughter, however it works into my remarks …

Israel is a Spartan like society. It’s consumed by revenge and bloodlust. Killing Arabs is a sure crowd pleaser and the opinion pools show during the duration of the attack in Gaza, about 90% of the Israelis’ supported it, and so those who sought re-election, not surprisingly, would think of killing Arabs as a way to garner votes.

… to Israel’s chagrin and humiliation, the US opted out (of a planned Israeli nuclear attack on Iran in 2008) and went its merry way + Israel’s deterrence capacity, it’s capacity to terrorize the Arab world into submission, it slipped another notch. It was high time to find a defenseless target to annihilate. Enter Gaza, Israel’s favourite shooting gallery.

… the operative plan for the Gaza bloodbath is seen by looking @ the authoritative statements released by Israeli officials as the massacre got under way. A reserve major general said – what we have to do is to act systematically with the aim of punishing all the organizations that are firing the rockets and mortars, as well as the civilians who are enabling them to fire and hide …

… it was a real success, we can’t dispute that. Whereas Israel killed a mere 55 Lebanese during the first two days of the Lebanon war in 2006, the Israeli media exulted @ Israel’s – what they called ‘shock + awe’ as it killed more than 300 Palestinians in the first two days of the attack on Gaza. Was it an accident several days into the slaughter an informed Israeli strategic analyst wrote – the idea of Israeli defense forces which planned to attack buildings + sites populated by hundreds of people, did not warn them in advance to leave, but intended to kill a great many of them, + succeeded. A sometime historian and full time propagandist, Benny Morris, he could barely contain his pride of what he called Israel’s highly efficient air assault on Hamas …

… as Israel targeted schools, mosques, hospitals, ambulances, UN sanctuaries, as it flattened entire neighbourhoods, as it slaughtered + incinerated Gaza’s defenseless civilian populations, Israeli commentators gloated that – quote – Gaza is to Lebanon as the second sitting for an exam is to the first, a second chance to get it right, and this time Israel had hurled back Gaza – not 20years as it promised to do in Lebanon, but into the 1940’s …

… Mr. Ignatieff, the carpet bagger from Harvard … he says, Israel has the right to defend itself, Hamas is a terrorist organization.

… Bernie Farber, the head of the Canadian Jewish Congress, he issued a statement … he’s appalled, he’s shocked, he’s filled with repugnance, disgust, because he saw a demonstration … an Israeli flag was being burned … but 400 Palestinian children incinerated … that doesn’t concern him … only an Israeli flag being burned in a demonstration …

… the horrific crimes being committed by what’s becoming a satanic state (referring to Israel) …

… (talking about his positive outlook) … Jewish liberal defection … last Jewish worldwide backing for state massacre

… that’s what that Satanic state has turned into … Genghis Khan with a laptop

… and finally put a stop to that lunatic state (speaking of Israel)

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