Ontario NDP Leader Marit Stiles called on one of the party’s members to retract a statement on the Israel-Gaza war, saying the statement wasn’t approved by the caucus.
In a post and accompanying statement on the social-media site X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday afternoon, Hamilton Centre MPP Sarah Jama said in response to the intensifying violence in the Middle East: “I’m reflecting on my role as a politician who is participating in this settler colonial system, and I ask that all politicians do the same.”
“We are seeing this definition of apartheid in real time through the continued violation of human rights in Gaza,” the two-paragraph statement said in part.
Stiles said Jama’s comments were not in line with the party’s stance and were not approved by the party, either. She has asked the Hamilton Centre representative to take back her remarks.
“The terrorist attacks by Hamas on thousands of innocent Israeli civilians are unjustifiable and must be condemned unequivocally,” Stiles wrote in a statement issued by the party.
“We call for an immediate ceasefire and de-escalation to prevent further bloodshed in Israel and Gaza, and for a political solution to bring lasting peace to the region.”
Both the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned Jama’s remarks and called for her removal from the Ontario NDP caucus.
Jama’s previous pro-Palestinian advocacy drew the ire of the Jewish organization B’nai Brith, which called her a “radical anti-Israel advocate” in the lead-up to a Hamilton by-election in March.
As of 9:22 p.m. on Tuesday night, Jama’s post remained up.
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