Langara College instructor who made Hamas comments no longer employed with school

Langara College and an instructor who had described the Hamas attack on Isreal as “amazing” and “brilliant” have parted ways, the school said Friday.

Natalie Knight had spoken at an off-campus rally in Vancouver Oct. 28 and addressed the crowd that gathered, praising the “determination and ingenuity” of six Palestinian political prisoners who had escaped from Gilboa prison in Israel.

She likened the attack by Hamas in early October to their triumph.

“We are members of a revolutionary mass organization in East Vancouver called United in Struggle. We unite workers, Indigenous people, and all oppressed people to fight back against the ruling elites,” she said.

The college condemned her words and she was put on leave Oct. 31. The school said she could return to work as long as she complied with its policies that support inclusivity and a safe, respectful work environment.

But she continued to engage in activities that were contrary to these policies, Langara says, and as a result, she is no longer employed with the school.

“The last few months have been a very difficult time,” Langara said in a news release. “The violence in the Middle East has caused pain and division in many of our communities. Our province has seen reprehensible acts of hate and discrimination in recent months. There is no place for this in our community and we condemn any act of anti-Semitism or Islamophobia.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) praised the move, saying it will help restore trust between the school and its Jewish and Israeli students and staff.

“We are encouraged by Langara College’s decision to dismiss Natalie Knight,” the CIJA said.

“When Natalie Knight celebrated the October 7 terrorist attacks committed by Hamas – the largest murder of Jews since the Holocaust – referring to it as ‘brilliant, amazing,’ she caused immense trauma for the college’s Jewish and Israeli community.

The CIJA says Vancouver’s Jewish community saw a 62 per cent increase in police-reported antisemitic hate incidents in 2023 compared with the previous year.

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