Online comments about Israel too hot for G&M

The Globe and Mail has closed comments on stories about Middle East issues, from the Gaza invasion by Israel to news that an Ontario union is seeking to bar Israeli academics from province’s universities if they do not explicitly condemn Israeli action in Gaza.

Jim Sheppard, Executive Editor of, explains:

“To our readers: policy is to close comments on all stories related to the Middle East. Past experience has demonstrated that too many people post racist, vulgar, abusive and offensive comments, often encouraging violence against specific individuals or peoples whenever we open comments on such stories.”

Sheppard adds, in relation to the story about banning Israeli academics: “In the interests of furthering intelligent commentary, we invited Mideast expert Michael Bell, a former Canadian ambassador to the region, to take your questions Monday.”

Discussions and findings about comments on J-Source can be found here.