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NDP MPP apologizes

By Randy Thoms Oct 11, 2023 | 2:29 PM

A Hamilton MPP is apologizing for a statement that has resulted in calls she resign.

Sarah Jama’s statement on Tuesday called for quote, “an end to all occupation of Palestinian land and end apartheid.”

It was issued amidst the attacks on Israel by Hamas and its subsequent retaliation.

Several Jewish groups spoken out.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, in a post on X, formerly Twitter, states Jama’s statement will do nothing to create peace and will only serve to foment hatred against Canada’s Jewish community.

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center says it is outraged by the statement and wants the Hamilton MPP removed from caucus.

Several Progressive Conservatives are also calling for Jama to resign, including Premier Doug Ford.

“Her views do not represent Ontario,” Ford states in a post on X. “They have no place in the legislature and they have no place in the province.

NDP leader Marit Stiles asked Jama to retract the statement, saying it does not align with the federal party’s statement and was not authorized.

Late Wednesday, the NDP issued a release that included Jama’s apology.

“I heard many voices yesterday raising concerns about my post. I hear them – and above all, I understand the pain that many Jewish and Israeli Canadians, including my own constituents, must be feeling. I apologize. To be clear, I unequivocally condemn terrorism by Hamas on thousands of Israeli civilians. I also believe that Israel’s bombardment and siege on civilians in Gaza, as was also noted by the United Nations, is wrong. As a member of the Ontario NDP caucus, I stand by the position of our federal party, and believe that violence against civilians is never justified, and that there is no military solution to this conflict.”

Stiles says she understand the personal impact the conflict is having on Jama who has Palestinian family members.

“At the same time, I have made it clear that all members of our caucus condemn Hamas’ terror attacks, and we stand in support of the federal NDP’s position in calling for an end to further bloodshed. MPP Jama has reaffirmed her commitment to this.”