Hateful professor returns to University of Lethbridge

Disgraced University of Lethbridge professor Anthony Hall.

Calgary, AB – The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and the Calgary Jewish Federation have expressed serious concern following the news that Professor Anthony Hall has returned to the University of Lethbridge.

Hall was dismissed from the university in 2016, following outcry from the Jewish community that he has promoted disturbing, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories online. This includes spreading the accusation that Zionists were behind 9/11 and legitimizing Holocaust deniers.

Contrary to erroneous claims, his reinstatement was a direct result of an agreement between Hall, the faculty association, and the university. CIJA has also confirmed that Hall will not be teaching or interacting with students. He is continuing to be investigated by the university and his future is far from certain.

“We are deeply disappointed that Hall has returned to the University of Lethbridge,” said Jared Shore, Chair of the Calgary Jewish Federation’s Community Relations Committee. “While we recognize due process is crucial in labour matters, we firmly believe this investigation must conclude with his permanent dismissal. Hall is a hateful conspiracy theorist who should have no place on campus.”

“Anthony Hall’s behaviour is not only offensive to our community. It’s an insult to academia,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of CIJA. “Those who peddle antisemitic conspiracies disqualify themselves from a place of higher learning. We have been in direct communication with the university and the Government of Alberta at the highest levels to convey our concerns. We know these officials share our disgust with Hall’s record of antisemitism, which is why we expect this investigation to end with his permanent removal from campus.”

In an email on November 28, 2017, Premier Rachel Notley expressed the Government of Alberta’s position: “There is no question that the views of this individual are repulsive, offensive and not reflective of Alberta. Our classrooms are a place for freedom of speech and expression but that does not mean individuals get to stand at the head of the class and spread lies and conspiracy theories. I am terribly disappointed to learn that this individual has been reinstated, but let me be clear that legislation that our government introduced did not give him his job back. I can confirm that this individual is now under investigation by a committee at the University.”

B’nai Brith Canada plans to make submissions as part of this investigation in order to underline why Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have no place in the classroom.

In her statement, Premier Notley failed to explain why her government had launched a legal intervention to support the position taken by Hall’s faculty association, or why the judgment in that case explicitly cited Bill 7, a measure passed by the Alberta Government on May 4, 2017.

“We appreciate the steps taken by the University of Lethbridge to remove students from Hall’s influence while this process unfolds,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “By contrast, the refusal of the Government of Alberta to own up to its actions is deeply disappointing.

“B’nai Brith will continue the struggle against anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry at the University of Lethbridge and campuses across the country.”

1 Comment on "Hateful professor returns to University of Lethbridge"

  1. Dr. Jack Goldberg | Dec 2, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Reply

    Anthony Hall’s delusional sounding claims are not protected by academic freedom. The protections of academic freedom do not apply to beliefs that violate the requirements of showing reasoned argument and a strong empirical basis that can be tested. Hall’s views do not belong in a university!

    The requirements of reasoned argument and evidence should apply to Hall’s opponents as well. Jared Shore’s assertion that due process process is crucial for labour relations is an excellent example a reasoned approach to Hall’s recent reinstatement. Bnai Brith’s widely disseminated blame of Premier Notley for the reinstatement of Hall is neither factually nor rationally justified. A national organization should do careful research before making accusations that are unsupported and unsupportable. I am pleased that Bnai Brith now gives credit for the fact that Hall is not in contact with students as a result of his reinstatement. Bnai Brith should apologize for its unwarranted accusation of premier Notley and her government.

    Finally, the innuendo by Bnai Brith that the Government of Alberta “has something to own up to” is unwarranted until Bnai Brith can demonstrate that there is a sound basis for this accusation. Bnai Brith makes it sound like the government of Alberta really wants Hall back at the University. As a fair minded person, I would assume that the presence of Alberta’s Minister of Justice at the Court of Queen’s bench hearing is only about securing due process and correct interpretation of recent labour legislation. If Bnai Brith alleges that Alberta favours Hall, the organization should provide evidence to this effect.

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