Don Braid: The pro-Hamas letter that got head of U of A Sexual Assault Centre fired

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s office was engaged in the university’s decision

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The crackpots are truly on the loose in Canada.

A letter signed by dozens of academics and various organizations doesn’t just deny that Israeli women were sexually violated by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7. It also claims Canada is not a legitimate nation.

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The director of the University of Alberta’s sexual-assault centre, Samantha Peterson, was fired on Saturday for signing that letter.

Premier Danielle Smith’s office was engaged in the university’s decision. This is a rare case — maybe unique — of a left-wing ideological zealot paying an instant price at any Canadian university.

Sane people in government and at U of A saw that denying video evidence of sexual violence by Hamas is a twisted message to send sexual-assault victims on campus — especially Jewish women.

Smith said on X, formerly Twitter: “I unequivocally agree with the University of Alberta’s decision to dismiss the director. All spaces, including university campuses, need to be safe for all. Antisemitism of any kind must not be tolerated.”

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The letter, started by two elected politicians, attacked NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh because he “repeated the unverified accusation that Palestinians were guilty of sexual assault.”

Most of the victims are dead or captive, but the letter doesn’t get into that.

This is a big lie intended to absolve Hamas of all blame for the war. Notice that they’re trying to say “Palestinians” are accused of sexual violence, when anybody who pays the slightest attention knows Hamas did the slaughtering on Oct. 7.

These people haven’t yet claimed Hamas didn’t actually kill people. Wait for it. In this letter, they don’t even have the integrity to name Hamas.

It was endorsed by 41 organizations, 18 people from the “research community,” and 30 from “civil society.”

Four signees are from U of A: a full professor in education; two assistant lecturers, including one in women’s and gender studies; and a post-doctoral researcher.

A University of Calgary computer science professor is on the list. Other academics signed on from Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

The Canadian contingent should not be confused with their universities. They are self-admiring, self-inflating clusters within the majority of sensible academics who go about their research and teaching.

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But they cause a lot of trouble for their schools, and sometimes their unions.

One unionist signed on behalf of Local 54 of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.

Local 54 later said this person didn’t mean to imply the union agrees with the letter. The timid retreat failed to say whether the local agrees or not.

This rabid document calls for politicians who don’t demand an immediate ceasefire to resign. It says all Canadian parties “dehumanize Palestinians, facilitating Israeli-led genocide against them.”

Once again, Oct. 7 and Hamas have been eradicated by instant revisionist history.

There’s also dripping contempt for Canada, the country where many of the people who signed are on the public payroll.

The letter begins, “We, the undersigned, residing in so-called Canada, urge Canadian leaders . . .”

It quotes a fellow traveller’s declaration that the Ontario NDP’s expulsion of MPP Sarah Jama “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.”

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Whew, we are some bad little so-called country, tainted by reasonable people of all shades and origins who want this horrible war to end but remember vividly why it started.

Some of this crowd also demand a Canadian “intifada” — or mass civil uprising — over a war in another country.

Perhaps not by coincidence, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals now run even further behind the Conservatives. The count is 41 per cent to 27 per cent, according to the latest poll from the Angus Reid Institute.

There are many reasons, but one may be Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre’s clarity on the Hamas-Israel crisis.

He said of Hamas after the attack: “What kind of organization would carry out such hideous violence against such obviously innocent people, and do it in the most cruel and odious manner and then willingly publicize it for all the world to see?

“This is evil in its purest form, and that evil must be defeated.”

Just a few apt words from so-called Canada.

Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald

X: @DonBraid

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