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« Crappy land »  : comments by a BC minister on the front of Israel are controversial | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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Invited to a Zoom event hosted Tuesday evening by B'nai Brith Canada, British Columbia's Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Selina Robinson, made controversial remarks about Israel before.

Radio-Canada

Voice synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, allows you to generate a spoken text from a written text.

A video of British Columbia's Post-Secondary Education Minister Selina Robinson during an event Tuesday evening sparked strong reactions, including calls upon his resignation. The video circulating on social networks shows her notably referring to the territory where Israel was created as a “crappy piece of land” before the establishment of the modern state of Israel. Israel, 1948.

Selina Robinson made the controversial comments during an online event by B'nai Brith with public figures from the Jewish community.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The data tells us that an entire generation, those aged 18 to 34, have no knowledge of the Holocaust. They don't even think it happened. They don't understand that Israel was given to displaced Jews, she said during the discussion, which lasted just under two hours.

These young people therefore have no knowledge of how it all started, she adds. They don't understand that it was a lousy piece of land, with nothing on it. There were [in this territory] several hundred thousand people, but apart from that, there was no economy, nothing grew there, there was nothing.< /p>

Following her comments, calls for the minister's resignation circulated on social networks.

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On Thursday, she issued a public apology, acknowledging that her comments caused pain and minimized the Palestinians' connection to the territory.

I would like to apologize for my disrespectful comment regarding Israel's origins on 'a lousy piece of land'. I was referring to the fact that the earth has limited natural resources. I understand that this offhand comment caused pain and that it diminishes the connection that Palestinians also have with the territory.

A quote from Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education of Colombia -British

Prime Minister David Eby reacted on Friday morning, affirming that his minister's comments were unacceptable and thanking her for being unreservedly apologized.

The British Columbia Federation of Post-Secondary Educators and the Canadian Association of University Teachers have called for the immediate resignation of Selina Robinson over recent comments, including Tuesday's, and her remarks on the sidelines of the layoff of a teacher from Langara College.

In writing, the two organizations believe that the minister's recent statements undermine the democratic principles of freedom of expression, academic freedom and a higher education system.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association also joined both organizations in calling for the resignation of Selina Robinson, citing the role she allegedly played in the departure of the teacher.

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Natalie Knight (left) lost her job at Langara College last January .

The minister had in fact requested the dismissal of English teacher Natalie Knight after controversial comments she made after the Hamas attack. After the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, the teacher described the event as incredible and brilliant.

Langara College had subsequently held an investigation and decided to keep the teacher in her employ, provided that she respected certain instructions. Natalie Knight, however, has no longer been employed by the college since January 26, since she carried out activities contrary to the instructions, according to the establishment.

The Federation of Postsecondary Educators of British Columbia accuses Selina Robinson in particular of interference, believing that she intervened in an inappropriate manner. The minister denies being involved in the referral decision.

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