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Hamilton Centre’s Independent Ontario MPP Sarah Jama had one more thing to say after speaking to a pro-Palestine protest encampment at McMaster University on Monday.

She was given the mic from the NDP MP for Hamilton, Matthew Green, and yelled, “Globalize the intifada.”

Jewish rights organizations such as B’nai Brith and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs have warned that calls for intifada, especially calls to globalize the intifada, are incitements to violence against Jewish people worldwide.

“The term intifada refers to periods of violent unrest in Israel that resulted in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of Israelis,” Richard Robertson, the director of Research and Advocacy at B’nai Brith, told True North in an interview.

The last intifada was known as the “Second Intifada,” which was characterized by suicide bombings, stone-throwing, and rocket attacks in civilian areas in Israel from 2000-2005.

“For Sarah Jama to suggest that such unrest be globalized, which would infer that she wants to see such unrest take place here in Canada as a civic leader, that’s incredibly disheartening to see her make such a call,” Robertson said. The “McMaster Apartheid Divest Coalition” posted an Instagram video showing Jama calling for a global intifada.

“Given the history of the various intifadas, it’s ludicrous for anyone to suggest that the term refers to anything but a period of violent unrest characterized by repeated terror attacks against innocent civilians,” Robertson said. “To suggest otherwise is providing misinformation. And it could even be considered manipulating history.”

David Cooper, the Vice President of CIJA agreed. 

“Intifada implies bloody violence and calls for the death and murder of Jewish Israelis, Cooper said.”

“That an elected official in Canada is making an overt call for the murder of Israelis and Jews around the world is either a shameful display of ignorance or a dangerous endorsement of violence.”

The same day, Jama was kicked out of the Ontario legislature for refusing to remove her keffiyeh, which was banned in the chamber for being a political prop. Using political props in the legislature violates long-standing parliamentary conventions.

“This is part of a pattern of inflammatory actions on the part of MPP Sarah Jama,” Robertson said. “As an organization, B’nai Brith feels that her behaviour has become increasingly problematic.”

Robertson doesn’t think her comments have crossed a line into criminal behaviour but thinks law enforcement should continue to monitor her.

“She continues to be more aggressive in her inciting behaviour. There is the capacity that, at some point, she will engage in action that warrants the laying of charges,” he said. “It will be up to her constituents to determine in the next election whether or not they feel that such a divisive and problematic figure is worthy of being their representative in the provincial legislature.”
Jama has a history of anti-Israel activism.

Ontario NDP leader Merit Siles kicked Jama out of her caucus for “antisemitic” and “discriminatory” remarks she made in defence of the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack last year.

In November Jama also denied the severity of the largest attack on Jewish people since the Holocaust.

The attack killed over 1,200 men, women, and children. Hamas also took hundreds more hostage. There are over 100 hostages still held by Hamas.

Green, at the same rally, called Israel a “brutal occupation” that is perpetrating a “horrible genocide.”

“Accusations of genocide are inciting and have the propensity to misinform the public. There is international legislation in international law that clarifies the criteria for something to be considered a genocide that simply is not met in this situation,” Robertson said. “And Israel is not an apartheid state. Gaza is self-governed by Hamas.”

The UN defines genocide as “a crime committed with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, in whole or in part.”

Through the International Court of Justice, South Africa has accused Israel of genocide though the state of Israel has not been found guilty.

“MP Green, has a history of inflaming tensions and in being a divisive figure who seems to be interested in inciting against the Jewish community,” Roberston said. “it’s unbecoming of a federal member of Parliament to be making such, such disingenuous accusations.”

True North contacted Jama and Green for comment, but they did not respond by the deadline.