Hamilton MPP could face censure from Queen’s Park over Israel-Palestine comments


Published October 16, 2023 at 9:02 pm

Hamilton MPP could face censure from Queen's Park over comments on Israel- Palestine conflict

The Ford government introduced a motion against Hamilton Centre MPP Sarah Jama for her online tweets related to the Israeli-Hamas conflict today (Oct. 16).

A motion of censure was brought in by the House Leader Paul Calandra, that accuses Jama of making “antisemitic and discriminatory statements” on social media, and her refusal to remove the tweets despite offering an apology.

It states that “this house expresses its disapproval of, and dissociates itself from, continued disreputable contact by the Member for Hamilton Centre, most specifically her use of social media to make antisemitic and discriminatory statements related to the existence of the State of Israel and its defence against Hamas terrorists.”

Additionally, the motion states that the Speaker will withhold recognition of Jama within the Legislative Assembly until she removes and deletes her social media statements and offers an apology within the legislative chamber.

On Oct. 10, Jama wrote that her statement allowed her to reflect on her role as a politician “who is participating in this settler colonial system, and I ask that all politicians do the same.” She added the hashtag #FreePalastine in her tweet.

Calling for “an immediate ceasefire” to the conflict, she wrote that the generations-long occupation of Palestine is “apartheid.” She included a quote that apartheid is “a political regime intentionally prioritizing fundamental political, legal, and social rights to one group over another in the same space on the basis of racial-national-ethnic identity.”

Although Jama offered an apology on Oct. 11 for her remarks, she declined to take down the tweets when asked to do so by the NDP leader, Marit Stiles.

“I have asked that she retract her statement, and state clearly that she decries any violence against both Israeli and Palestinian people and that she agrees with the federal NDP’s stance,” Marit Stiles said.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford also called on the Hamilton MPP to resign, following Jama’s tweet.

It is unclear when the motion will be brought before the legislature for a vote.

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