How media narratives have inflamed the Israel-Hamas war—and how you can escape them

Protesters rally in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., in support of Palestinian resistance to Israel during the 2023 Israel-Gaza war. (Photo by Ted Eytan/Wikimedia Commons)

Join Avi Finegold and Phoebe Maltz Bovy for a special live taping of Bonjour Chai, as we kick off Holocaust Education Week in partnership with the Toronto Holocaust Museum and the Prosserman JCC. The hosts will be sitting down with author Michael Frank to discuss his book, One Hundred Saturdays. Get your tickets here.

Subscribe to Bonjour Chai on Substack to connect with our conversations all week long. (Coming soon!)

When reports came out of Gaza last week that the al-Ahli Arab Hospital was bombed, killing hundreds and wounding hundreds more, both sides immediately pointed fingers at their enemy. For days, whether it was an Israeli airstrike or a faulty rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad somehow boiled down to a simple matter of opinion. In the days that followed, even as reporting surfaced and international governments (including Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom) independently determined Israel was not at fault, for millions of onlookers, the die had been cast. Whatever you thought in the first 24 hours has probably remained your belief, facts be damned.

This has been the story of the war. Both sides are literally consuming different media reports, living in different bubbles, believing different facts. Beliefs have informed realities. This segregation has led to rampant dehumanization, antisemitism being conflated with anti-Zionism and harassment of Jews around the world simply for being in Jewish spaces.

To dissect the role the media plays in all this, and how narratives are shaped and cemented, Avi and Phoebe are joined by Jesse Brown, founder of the Canadaland podcast network, which takes a critical lens to conventional Canadian media narratives.


Bonjour Chai is hosted by Avi Finegold and Phoebe Maltz Bovy. Zachary Kauffman is the producer and editor. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Socalled. The show is a co-production from The Jewish Learning Lab and The CJN, and is distributed by The CJN Podcast Network. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast, donating to The CJN and subscribing to the podcast’s Substack.