Hamilton Centre NDP MPP Sarah Jama under fire for tweet calling convicted terrorist ‘martyr of freedom’

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 It’s not the first time the newly elected MPP (pictured, centre) has stirred controversy and faced significant backlash from the public. Photo credit: Twitter/Fred Hahn


Newly elected Hamilton Centre Ontario NDP MPP Sarah Jama is under fire yet again, this time for a tweet made this past Tuesday, May 2 calling a convicted terrorist and member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad a “martyr of freedom.”

Jama was elected in a March 2023 by-election to replace former Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath as MPP after she moved on to the Hamilton Mayor’s Office.

The original tweet was from an American attorney named Noura Erakat. The tweet was reposted by Jama’s account.

The social media post referenced the death of Khader Adnan, a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a militant terrorist group. Adnan died in Israeli custody after an 87-day hunger strike.

Her retweet prompted the Ontario NDP to issue a statement condemning the message.

The statement read, “Last night, the MPP for Hamilton Centre retweeted a tweet by an American academic Noura Erakat concerning the death of Khader Adnan and later un-retweeted it. The content of the tweet does not reflect the views of Ms. Jama or the Ontario NDP.”

Jama later removed the tweet from her account and even deactivated her Twitter profile. However, her account, which has over 15,600 followers, reappeared later in the day.

Before Jama removed the tweet, Jewish human rights group B’nai Brith Canada released a statement condemning the message.

It read, “Khader Adnan was not a martyr for freedom. He was a convicted terrorist and member of PIJ: a listed [terrorist] entity in Canada. Endorsing such a narrative is an affront to his innocent victims and is unbecoming of an elected official.”

B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn has called for an apology and explanation from Jama.

So far, Jama has remained entirely silent on the matter.

This is not the first time that Jama has faced controversy for similar offences.

During the March by-election campaign, she was accused of anti-Semitism and endorsement of violent anti-Israel uprisings.

Jama has also said that the police should be “abolished” and “dismantled”.

She also had a role in a number of controversial protests including the targeting of Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s personal residence in a 2020 protest where a mob of people showed up in the dark and left a coffin in front of the mayor’s house, saying that there was blood on his hands for continuing to fund the police.

Jama was even arrested at the site of a Hamilton Police homeless encampment clean-up at a local Hamilton park. 

She was accused of obstructing and assaulting a police officer. Charges were eventually withdrawn after she entered a peace bond.

B’nai Brith Canada previously called on the ONDP to rescind Jama’s candidacy for her involvement in “radical” anti-Israel events.

Jama has called Israel an “apartheid state” and a racist country and been pictured holding a sign that reads “Black lives don’t matter in Israel.”

Social media videos from July 2021 show Jama addressing a pro-Palestinian rally saying that “Hamilton police protect Naziism” and “target Blacks, Muslims, and Palestinians.”

In the video she continued by saying, “we know these systems are corrupt – they need to fall. Disarm, dismantle, abolish the police.”

The video has since been removed.

Canary Mission, another Jewish human rights group that “documents individuals that promote hatred of Israel and Jews,” has compiled 93 screenshots and four videos that they say show Jama “demonizing Israel” and supporting events that call for “freeing terrorists” and for “terrorist violence.”

The screenshots appear to show that Jama is a member of the Young Communist League in Hamilton and the Young Communist League of Canada and spoke at a Communist rally.

They also allege that Jama attended events and took part in chants supporting Palestinian intifada (an act of violent uprising by Palestinian people against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip).

Chants included in the anti-Israel events include “Israel is a racist state,” “Viva, Viva, Intifada,” and “No justice, no peace.”

All of the above controversy did not stop Jama from being elected in March with 54 per cent of the vote.  

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