[Meanwhile, thousands of people Sunday November 19,2023 demonstrating in Canada in solidarity with the Palestinian people, calling for an immediate ceasefire to end the Israeli genocide in Gaza.]
Alberta (Canada): In another instance exposing the west’s double standard on right to free speech, University of Alberta has fired Samantha Pearson, the Director of the Sexual Assault Centre merely because she signed an open letter that besides other things called Canada to recognize Israeli occupation as terrorist.
Sarah Jama, an Independent MPP from Hamilton, Ont. who was removed from NDP caucus in October for demanding ceasefire in Gaza, is the letter’s first signatory.
“Instead of obfuscating reality, your letter should have begun by condemning Israeli apartheid and occupation. Furthermore, by failing to recognize Israeli occupation as “terrorist” and only directing this term at Palestinian resistance, you perpetuate an Islamophobic trope”, the letter addressed to Members of Parliament said.
“Your language is fuelling the collective trauma being experienced by your constituents, and inciting hate crimes against Palestinians and Muslims”, the open letter to the Canadian Parliamentarian said.
In the letter, the signatories also accused the Canadian lawmakers of being complicit in Israel’s killing of over 5000 Palestinian children in Gaza, relying on Israeli claims despite confirmation by Anglican Church and Doctors Without Borders that Al Ahli Hospital was bombed by the occupation forces.
In the open letter the signatories also said that the allegations by the Zionist regime in Israel that Palestinians were guilty of sexual violence were unverified”.
Within hours of removing Samantha Pearson from her post, the University of Alberta also removed from its official website the Profile page of Samantha Pearson, started addressing her “former employee”.
“I want to be clear that the former employee’s personal views and opinions do not in any way represent those of the University of Alberta”, the university’s President and Vice-Chancellor Bill Flanagan said in a statement released Saturday.
Interestingly, the university cites its rejection to “discrimination and hatred on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity” for removing Samantha Pearson from her post, though the decision in itself has been dubbed as an “assault on free speech” and “discriminatory”.
“The University of Alberta stands firmly and unequivocally against discrimination and hatred on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, and other protected categories. We recognize the historical and ongoing harms of antisemitism and commit to doing all we can as a university to advance a world free of prejudice and discrimination,” Flanagan said.
Meanwhile, the Gaza Health Ministry said that the death toll in the besieged strip has reached 12,300 in the Israeli military offensive that started on October 7 following Hamas' Operation al Aqsa Flood that according to Israel claimed 1,200 people.
The Health Ministry also confirmed that more than 5,000 children are among the dead, alongside 3,300 women, with 30,000 more people wounded. The Health Ministry previously said it can no longer give exact tolls as intense fighting has prevented bodies from being recovered.
Stand with Palestine: Call on Political Leaders to End Their Complicity in Genocide!
We, the undersigned, residing in so-called Canada, urge Canadian political leaders to end their complicity in the ongoing massacres and genocide in Gaza, Occupied Palestine. The letter, demanding accountability and action from political leaders, is as follows:
Dear Members of Parliament,
You have called on Canada to urge for an “immediate ceasefire” in the face of unimaginable devastation. Yet, all Canadian political parties dehumanize Palestinians, facilitating Israeli-led genocide against them. If you truly value Palestinian life and international law, we thus call on you to resign now. Consider the recent resignation of 23 Labour councillors in the UK in response to Starmer's support for collective punishment: “In a choice between serving our parties or justice, we have chosen justice”.
All of you are complicit in Israel’s killing of over 5000 Palestinians in Gaza thus far. The Liberal government argued “with a high degree of confidence that Israel did not strike the [Al Ahli] hospital”, even after the Anglican Church that owns the hospital and Doctors Without Borders concluded otherwise. Meanwhile, Jagmeet Singh repeated the unverified accusation that Palestinians were guilty of sexual violence, refused to end his party’s deal with the Liberals, and revoked the passes of four delegates who joined a pro-Palestine rally at the NDP Convention.
Instead of obfuscating reality, your letter should have begun by condemning Israeli apartheid and occupation. Furthermore, by failing to recognize Israeli occupation as “terrorist” and only directing this term at Palestinian resistance, you perpetuate an Islamophobic trope. Your language is fuelling the collective trauma being experienced by your constituents, and inciting hate crimes against Palestinians and Muslims. Hence, it is unsurprising that Justin Trudeau did not receive a warm welcome from the Muslim community last week. Whether you identify as Muslim or not, you should also expect to be shunned for your complicity moving forward.
We implore you to stand in genuine solidarity with the Indigenous communities of Turtle Island and Palestine who continue to resist against settler colonial genocide. As outlined by Dr. Rinaldo Walcott after the Ontario NDP expelled MPP Sarah Jama for supporting Palestine: "Jama's predicament exposes the bankrupt situational morality of Canadian politics in a settler-colonial country that can only but support white settler politics elsewhere as the condition of its own existence".
In addition to demanding an immediate ceasefire, the urgent restoration of human necessities including water, and the opening of humanitarian corridors and crossings for medical purposes, we urge you to call on Israel to free all Palestinian prisoners, lift its siege on Gaza, and end its illegal occupation. You must contribute to sensible political and social discourse as elected officials. We urge you to stand on the right side of history where you will be redeemed: Resign with integrity and dignity.
Until true justice and freedom,
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