On October 13, I published an article listing columnists, panellists and editorial boards in Canada that have explicitly supported Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza.
At the time of publication, Israel had killed more than 1,530 Palestinians (including 500 children) and injured at least 6,600 more. Since then, that count has unfortunately multiplied, with the most recent reports noting Israel has killed more than 7,243 Palestinians (including 3,112 children) and injured at least 18,900 more.
I was curious if the figures on the list, which has been updated a couple times since publication, still support the assault. Here is the full list of names on the list, minus the editorial boards: Conrad Black; Andrew Coyne; Rosie DiManno; Terry Glavin; Brian Goldman; Matt Gurney; Barbara Kay; Tasha Kheiriddin; Warren Kinsella; Anthony Koch; Joe Oliver; Harry Rakowski; Jamie Sarkonak; Konrad Yakabuski.
None of these figures endorsed the killing of children (some condemned it and most didn’t mention it at all), but given how many have been killed, I assumed it would play a crucial role in determining their current stance on a ceasefire.
As such, I decided to send the following message to anyone on that list whose email I could find (everyone but Koch and Oliver): “Hello, this is Davide Mastracci, the opinion editor at The Maple. I am reaching out to you with a question for an article I’m putting together. You have expressed support for the Israeli assault on Gaza within the past couple of weeks. At least 2,055 Palestinian children have been killed in that assault since October 7. Do you now support a ceasefire? If not, how many more dead children will it take for you to support one? Please reply by October 24 at 17:00 ET. Your reply will be included in the article. Looking forward to hearing from you.”
I gave them around 24 hours to respond. After just three of them did so, I followed up and gave them until the end of October 25 to reply. Unfortunately, no more of them replied. At least 1,000 more Palestinian kids were killed while I waited for their responses.
Here’s what those that did reply had to say, in full…
Rosie DiManno (Toronto Star columnist)
“I’ve never heard of The Maple. And if you know anything about me, you’d be aware that I limit all my comments to my Star column. I don’t do other media - ever. Your question is impudent and imprudent. The way it’s framed is an insult to journalism. If that is indeed your field. Do better. R.”
Barbara Kay (National Post columnist)
“I think the author of this piece would make a better interview.
Here is my comment. I request that it be printed in full or not at all. If it is edited, I will reproduce the text on X along with my disrespected stipulation.
‘The children of Gaza would not die if they had bomb shelters to run to when Israel warns of impending strikes on terror infrastructure (the only army in the world that pre-announces its strikes), as Israeli children do, which accounts for the disparity in numbers of deaths between Gazan and Israeli children during such conflicts. But they don’t, because Hamas uses the cement they get - ostensibly to build houses - to add to their network of terror tunnels, rather than sparing even a portion for bomb shelters. As a result, many of these children are human shields, a war crime. Hamas is responsible for Gazan children’s deaths because they purposefully launch lethal weaponry from civilian structures, attracting *legitimate* return fire they know will kill civilians. Ensuring high numbers of civilian deaths is a tactic for the terrorist group Hamas, not an oversight.’”
Warren Kinsella (Postmedia columnist)
Kinsella sent out a tweet with a screenshot of part of my email and the following message: “What do you think, folks? My personal preference is ‘go fuck yourself,’ but I’m open to suggestions. You can send them to him directly, too, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know what you think!”
He didn’t end up emailing me, though several others did, including one that mentioned his name in the subject line.
This article will be updated if any more of those on the list reply.