Coalition of Palestinian and Jewish Groups to Intervene in Sarah Jama Censure Case

For Immediate Release

22 February 2024 – A coalition comprised of Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV), the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association (ACLA) and the Jewish Faculty Network (JFN) have been granted leave to intervene in court proceedings commencing today regarding the censure of Sarah Jama, Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Hamilton Centre.

In a rare move, MPP Jama was censured on 23 October 2023 by the government in response to her public advocacy for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, which was characterized as “antisemitic and discriminatory.” In accordance with the condition attached to the government’s censure, Jama has since not been able to speak in the legislature. Today’s proceedings, held at the Divisional Court in Toronto, will hear the provincial government’s motion to strike MPP Jama’s application for a judicial review of the censure.

Represented by lawyer Shane Martínez, the coalition of intervenors will make submissions to the court regarding antisemitism, its weaponization, anti-Palestinian racism, and the importance of employing an anti-racist analysis in the determination of the motion to strike. “This intervention sees both Jewish and Arab groups rising together above the politics of division and falsehoods,” said Martinez. 

“Far too often, actions taken by the Ontario government claim to be about fighting antisemitism when they are much more about politics and silencing those who speak out against Israeli state violence,” said Jillian Rogin of Independent Jewish Voices Canada. 

For Dania Majid, President of the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association, “politicians continue to be a significant source of anti-Palestinian racism in Canada. Their statements and actions have put Palestinians and their allies at risk of workplace reprisals, societal dehumanization and silencing, and violence. What happened to Sarah Jama is but one such instance.” 

“It is crucial that our institutions understand how dangerous it is to conflate criticism of the state of Israel with antisemitism,” concluded Deborah Cowen of the Jewish Faculty Network. “This case is an important opportunity for education about both genuine and spurious claims of antisemitism. It also reveals some of the consequences of getting it wrong.”

Media Contacts:

Shane Martinez – Lawyer for Coalition of Intervenors:

Jillian Rogin – Associate Professor,  IJV member, and constituent of Sarah Jama:

Dania Majid – President, Arab Canadian Lawyers Association,

Deborah Cowen –  Professor and Steering Committee member of the Jewish Faculty Network,,