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CBC leaked email tells reporters not to use term ‘terrorists’ in connection with Israel attacks

A leaked email purportedly written by CBC’s director of journalistic standards instructs reporters not to call those involved in the current attacks on Israel “terrorists.”

“Do not refer to militants, soldiers, or anyone else as ’terrorists.' The notion of terrorism remains heavily politicized and is part of the story,” said the email, dated Oct. 7 and written by CBC’s director of journalistic standards George Achi.


“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. That includes statements from the Canadian government and Canadian politicians.”


Mr. Achi also warned reporters not to use “loaded language.”

“This is not a story that comes out of the blue, but is deeply rooted in the political and military landscape of the past few years,” he wrote.


CBC did not return requests for comment by The Epoch Times by press time.


Israel was attacked by Hamas from Gaza in the early morning of Oct. 7. The attacks included raids from land, air, and the sea, and involved the targeting of civilians, including women and children, on the streets of Israeli cities near the Gaza Strip.


Israel Defense Forces says Hamas has taken hostages, including both Israeli soldiers and civilians, women as well as children, and dragged them into Gaza.


Israel has since declared a state of war and launched air strikes in Gaza.


Hamas terrorist listing

The Gaza Strip was originally left in the leadership of the Palestinian Authority in 2005. However, Hamas, or the Islamic Resistance Movement, overthrew the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip and took control of the coastal territory in 2007.


The Canadian government has designated Hamas as “a radical Islamist-nationalist terrorist organization.”


“Since 1990, Hamas has been responsible for terrorist attacks against both civilian and military targets. Hamas has been one of the primary groups involved in suicide bombings aimed at Israelis,” Public Safety Canada says. 


2005 disengagement

Mr. Achi’s email also gives instructions to “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.”


In September 2005, Israel completed its unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip, withdrawing all of its settlers and soldiers and dismantling its military facilities in the coastal area after 38 years of Israeli presence, since 1967, according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s “World Factbook,” which noted that Israel then continued to control the Gaza Strip’s land and maritime borders and airspace.


The plan was negotiated by the prime minister of Israel at the time, Ariel Sharon, in the hopes of reducing conflict with the growing population of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, reported the Jerusalem Post.


Some 9,000 Israeli settlers were evacuated from the area as part of the plan as Israel withdrew all of its forces, said the United Nations at the time.



Conservative MP Michael Cooper condemned the CBC email, stating on X on Oct. 8, “As Hamas commits atrocities in Israel, the CBC’s so-called ‘Director of Journalistic Standards’ directed journalists to say that rape, torture, kidnapping, and acts of violence against civilians should not be called acts of terror.”


“This is blatantly antisemitic,” wrote Mr. Cooper, including the hashtag “#DefundTheCBC,” which refers to the calls by his party to end government funding for the public broadcaster.


Conservative MP Marty Morantz pointed out that Hamas has been listed as a terrorist entity in Canada since 2002. “It’s ok to call them Terrorists,” he said on X on Oct. 8.


Fellow Tory MP Lianne Rood also commented on the email, saying on X on Oct. 8, “It’s atrocious that state funded media would call this anything but what it is.”


Neil Orlowsky, director of education with the Abraham Global Peace Initiative, said on X on Oct. 8: “In a geopolitical sense, terrorism isn’t a matter of opinion. Israel’s under attack by a terrorist group.”

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