In Hamilton Spectator, HRC Rebuts Commentator Who Defended Fanatical Anti-Israel MPP Sarah Jama

An October 27 column in The Hamilton Spectator by Sarah Adjekum and Ameil Joseph came to the defense of Sarah Jama, an Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) who faced widespread condemnation in the Ontario legislature for her October 10 statement condemning Israel for “settler colonialism” and “apartheid,” all while failing to mention Hamas or its terrorist attack a single time.

Not only is there no defense of Jama’s thoughtless statement, Adjekum, and Joseph’s column only contributes ignorance and misinformation, which will only help to protract the conflict.

In the November 2 edition of the Spectator, HRC Executive Director Mike Fegelman pointed out that there is no disputing that it is Hamas, which bears ultimate responsibility for the suffering their own people are enduring.


Column In Defence Of MPP Jama Was A Misrepresentation And Whitewashing Of Her Comments

Only a few short weeks after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in Israel, when an estimated 2,500 Hamas terrorists broke into southern Israel torturing, raping and murdering roughly 1,400 innocent Israelis — the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust — some commentators are already portraying Hamas and Israel as little more than two sides of the same coin.

In their Oct. 28 column in The Hamilton Spectator entitled “Canada once recognized the humanity of Palestinians and it can do so again,” writers Sarah Adjekum, a PhD candidate at McMaster University, and Ameil Joseph, an associate professor at McMaster University’s School of Social Work, took Canada to task for what they term its insufficient support of the Palestinians.

The pair came to the defence of Sarah Jama, an MPP from Hamilton, calling her a “lone politician (who) attempted to acknowledge” the truth about the impact of the war between Hamas and Israel.

In reality, Jama has expressed fanatical anti-Israel views even before being elected in 2023, and most recently on Oct. 10, when she released a statement falsely referring to Israel’s alleged “generations long occupation of Palestine,” “apartheid,” and “settler colonialism,” failing to mention Hamas even a single time.

Jama was soon formally censured by the Ontario government, and expelled from the Ontario NDP for her grotesquely false statement. But Adjekum and Joseph condemned the widespread condemnation she received, saying it was “chilling to see … Jama’s reiteration of these “facts” attract condemnation from her provincial colleagues.

The pair continue their defence of Jama, writing, her “support of Palestine has been erroneously framed as anti-Semitic, a dangerous false dichotomy that frames being antiwar as somehow also anti-peace.”

This is a total misrepresentation and whitewashing of Jama’s comments. Jama did not simply express her “support of Palestine.” She spread hateful falsehoods about Israel, namely it practices apartheid and has practised “settler colonialism” for 75 years, since Israel’s rebirth in 1948. It is readily apparent Jama’s comment, far from denunciating Israeli government policy, effectively denied Israel’s right to exist, and in an act of erasure of 3,000 of Jewish history, falsely labelled the Jewish people’s longtime presence in their historical homeland as little more than “settler colonialism.”

Jama’s refusal to even name Hamas, let alone condemn it, only three days after their bloody terrorist attack, does not constitute being “antiwar.” It is refusing to identify Hamas, a bloodthirsty Islamist terrorist organization, as such. And Adjekum and Joseph’s column, which so readily defends Jama’s ignorant and hateful statement, only lends credibility to what was an utterly indefensible public statement by an elected official.

Not content to only defend Jama against the legitimate widespread condemnation she has faced, Adjekum and Joseph continue their column by falsely equating Hamas with Israel writing, “You can oppose murder, hostage taking, torture, genocide, racism, the blanket destruction of neighbourhoods, the withholding of food, of water, electricity, fuel, the destruction of schools, the incapacitation of hospitals, colonial violence, war crimes, war itself.”

The juxtaposition of murder and hostage taking, alongside false claims of genocide and “colonial violence,” demonstrates a profoundly dishonest comparison between Israel and a fanatical Islamist terrorist organization.

While there is no disputing civilians in Gaza are suffering following Hamas’ terrorist attack, there is also no disputing it is Hamas, which bears ultimately responsibility for the suffering their own people are enduring.

Hamas has long redirected international humanitarian aid away from Gazan civilians, and toward the construction of subterranean terror tunnels and rockets, and to line the pockets of their leaders who live in luxury in Qatar with billions in assets. Even now, as Hamas claims there is no fuel left in the Gaza Strip to service hospital generators, the terrorist group still manages to fire rockets toward Israeli towns and cities, showing the world where its true priorities lie.

For many years, Hamas has used civilians in Gaza as human shields, and now, extensive photographic evidence, as well as interviews with two Hamas terrorists in Israeli custody, have shown the group operates an extensive terrorist headquarters underneath a major hospital in Gaza.

Until commentators learn the basic difference between Hamas, a terrorist organization, which not only murders Israelis, but wilfully uses its own people as human shields, and Israel, a liberal democratic state seeking to protect its people against those religious fanatics, they will continue to spread falsehoods and only perpetuate the suffering of Israelis and Palestinian alike.

Mike Fegelman is executive director of HonestReporting Canada, a non-profit organization ensuring fair and accurate Canadian media coverage of Israel.

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