Toronto (Sept. 20, 2021) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is deeply disturbed by a recent column in Al Jazeera written by a Sheridan College professor which draws on antisemitic tropes to demonize Israel.
In the column, Professor Andrew Mitrovica accuses Israel of deliberately killing Palestinian children, echoing past blood libels that falsely accused Jews in Europe of murdering Christian children. Using incendiary language in his one-sided, gratuitous depiction of soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), he accuses them of being a “ruthless crew of gangsters” who “mutilate Palestinian boys and girls” and “slaughter Palestinian children of their humanity.” Later in his hate-filled diatribe, he refers to the IDF as “Israel’s diseased, irredeemable army” comprised of “unrepentant thugs” who “deem children to be legitimate targets.”
Over the weekend, the Toronto-based Honest Reporting Canada organization, which works for accuracy in Canadian media coverage of Israel and the Middle East, spotlighted Mitrovica’s column for its egregious, distorted content.
Mitrovica, a journalism instructor at Sheridan College in the Greater Toronto Area, published his screed on Al Jazeera, the Qatari state-funded news site often criticized for its tendentious anti-Israeli coverage. His column is short of context and long on incitement. In his anti-Israel zeal, he presents a skewed reality. He never mentions the IDF is defending Israel against the Iranian-backed Hamas regime ruling over Gaza, whose terrorist tactics include rocket attacks that have repeatedly killed Israeli and Palestinian civilians and using children as human shields in confrontations against Israel.
“At a time of rising antisemitism, it’s deeply disturbing to see a Canadian professor publicly put forward such a grossly twisted picture that demonizes the one Jewish state in the world,” said Michael Levitt, President and CEO of Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “What does it say about Sheridan College that it has someone teaching journalism who manipulates facts in such a way?”