British Columbia’s Langara College has backtracked on its plans to reinstate an instructor who called Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel an “amazing, brilliant offensive” – opting instead to terminate her employment.
In a statement, Langara said that the instructor, Natalie Knight, is no longer an employee of the college.
Natalie Knight was an English instructor and Indigenous curriculum consultant.
Knight’s firing comes after she previously bragged at a protest that the college reinstated her, claiming this was vindication for her past comments.
“I’ve been reinstated as an instructor with no disciplinary actions, which means we won,” said Knight. “It means I did nothing wrong. It means none of you are doing anything wrong.”
However, it appears that those remarks led the college to backtrack on their decision to reinstate her.
“The College made the determination that the employee would return to work with the expectation they would comply with the College’s policies and initiatives which support a safe, respectful, and inclusive learning and working environment. Further, they were expected to take care to ensure any future remarks could not reasonably be interpreted as celebrating violence against civilians,” said Langara.
“The employee proceeded to engage in activities contrary to the expectations laid out by the College and as a result this employee is no longer an employee of Langara College.”
Knight had initially come under fire in October for celebrating Hamas’ massacre of Israelis at a protest in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery last October.
“This was a feat of determination and ingenuity only eclipsed by the amazing, brilliant offensive waged on Oct. 7,” she said at the time.
“United in Struggle upholds the unqualified right to resist and fight back against imperialist aggression, colonialism and genocidal campaigns of the Israeli state.”
In its statement, Langara College also condemned a rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia.
“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. We are focused on supporting those in our community who are living with immense pain over the continuing violence and tragic loss of life in the Middle East,” the school said.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in our campus community. Our aim is to provide an environment where differing views can be held and expressed in a way that promotes human dignity for all and protects the safety of our students and staff.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs lauded Langara for taking action.
“We thank the college for showing accountability and taking this step to restore trust with its Jewish and Israeli campus community. There should be absolutely no room for the glorification of terrorism and antisemitism at any post-secondary institution in Canada.”
Knight did not respond to True North’s request for comment in time for publication.