The complainant, Isi Erez, thought Carol Off showed her personal feelings through an angry interview with an Israeli politician. Tone is somewhat subjective – the interview was probing but I did not detect anger. The questions were challenging but did not violate policy.


You found an interview Carol Off did with Sharren Haskel, a member of the Knesset for Likud, the Israeli parliament, to be “rude and even angry.” You think that interviewers should be calm and not show their personal feelings.

As a taxpaying Canadian, I expect the CBC and “As It happens” in particular, to be balanced in its coverage of world events and its employees to “behave Canadian”. There is no need to be rude in order to make a point or try to win an argument.

Ms. Carol Off in particular, has been rude and one sided too many times. I strongly believe that this should be addressed.

You thought this was an unseemly show of opinion and showed an anti-Israel bias. The interview concerned the fate of African asylum seekers in the country. The day before the interview Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced a deal that would enable 16,000 of them to be resettled in western countries, including Canada, while others would be permitted to stay in Israel. Later the same day he cancelled the agreement. Ms. Haskel is a member of his government.

You questioned whether the migrants were bonafide refugees or merely seeking better economic opportunity.

According to the Israeli government, the vast majority of the migrants are seeking economic opportunity. Some sought the refugee status only after their arrival. According to international law, these are not refugees. The migrants initially arrived in Egypt, and from there they often paid thousands of dollars for Bedouin smugglers to transfer them to the border between Egypt and Israel. The source of the money remains somewhat of a mystery but certainly creates questions about the true motives of the migrant workers.

The transfer of 16,000 migrants to Western countries organized by the UN refugee agency was not actually accepted by these countries! I have to stress again that these are not “refugees” but illegal migrant workers. They are even rejoicing and dancing in the streets when their countries of origin have national holidays. True refugees do not behave in such manner.

Continue reading this on the CBC website, where it was first published.