Call to deport pro-Palestine demonstrators sparks professional review for McMaster cardiologist in Hamilton

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Published November 8, 2023 at 5:30 pm

McMaster professor Eva Lonn
via NewsWire

McMaster University cardiologist Dr. Eva Lonn is under professional review after she called for the deportation of protesters who support Palestine amid the bloody ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

Lonn is a professor of medicine at the university and has privileges at the three Hamilton Health Sciences hospitals. On Oct. 28, she commented on a LinkedIn post from the New York Post. The story detailed a 7,000-person pro-Palestine protest on the Brooklyn bridge in New York City. In her comment, Lonn called to “deport them all from where they came from.”

Protests like that on the Brooklyn bridge have been commonplace around the world after the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas was sparked by a Hamas terrorist attack on Oct 7. That day Hamas militants flooded over the fences of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip following a rocket barrage.

Hamas, a designated terrorist group that has controlled Gaza since 2005, attacked numerous civilian targets including homes and a concert, killing around 1,200 people and kidnapping more than 200.

Israel responded with a declaration of war and countless airstrikes. The nation has controlled most ports into Gaza since they started the blockade in 2005. After the resumption of hostilities, they cut off supplies of food, water, electricity and medicine to Gaza. Some limited supplies have been slipped in through the Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

In the month-long war, some 10,500 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed. The conflict has created chaos around the world and in Canada. The government has been working to evacuate citizens in Israel and the first batch of around 80 Canadians have been pulled out of Gaza. Global Affairs Canada is in contact with another 600 Canadians and their families who need evacuations.

Likewise, citizens have taken to the cause, holding numerous pro-Palestine and pro-Israel rallies across the country in recent weeks, including several in Hamilton. Violence has also been on the rise with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network reporting a steep rise in both anti-Semitic and Islamophobic hate crimes and incidents since the fighting began.

Following her call for protesters to be deported, Lonn posted an apology to X saying her comments came “in the heat of the moment and without adequate consideration of the broader implications. While my intention was to condemn the actions of those individuals reported by NYPost.com who supported violent means and made very hurtful remarks towards Jewish people, I realize now how my words can be misconstrued and the negative implications they carry.”

She called the unfolding events “deeply personal” for her, adding that she was visiting family in Israel during the initial Hamas attack and returned to Canada “deeply traumatized.” According to cardiology hub ESC 365, Lonn earned her doctorate at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Lonn later deactivated all of her social media accounts, citing harassment and threats of violence.

Her comments sparked immediate controversy. A Change.org petition for McMaster to address her comments has garnered nearly 8,000 signatures. It reads: “The display of hate speech by someone in a professional capacity like her is deemed unacceptable, necessitating appropriate action to address the situation.”

It additionally calls for the university to revoke her teaching licence and fire her. “The impact of this situation is profound and far-reaching. It’s not just about one person spreading hate; it’s about the influence they hold over young minds as an educator,” the petition reads.

In a statement to media organizations McMaster said Lonn’s comment does not align with its values. They said they are reviewing the matter in accordance with their workplace policies. However, citing privacy, the university did not elaborate as it’s a specific employment matter.

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