The Jewish community of Edmonton, Canada, has been actively combating pro-Palestinian officials through social media and internet campaigns. JewishEdmonton, a group within the community, led a successful effort to have Samantha Pearson, the director of the University of Alberta’s Sexual Assault Center, dismissed. Pearson had organized a student pro-Palestinian action on campus and had signed an open letter condemning Israel for its military operation in the Gaza Strip.
The backlash from JewishEdmonton’s publication of screenshots of the open letter prompted an immediate dismissal for Pearson. University of Alberta President Bill Flanagan clarified that the new leadership at the Sexual Assault Center would ensure that the university’s commitments were met. He also emphasized that Pearson’s personal views did not reflect the position of the university.
Furthermore, University of Alberta officials stated that an event scheduled by Students for Justice in Palestine was not sanctioned or endorsed by the university. They also noted that the group was not recognized or funded by the university. The vigil associated with the group would be held on November 21st outside the University Arts Centre, with campus security and Edmonton Police ensuring safety.
In response to this incident, JewishEdmonton has created a directory of resources for individuals who wish to report pro-Palestinian activity on campus or online. Additionally, they have launched a campaign to educate students about their rights as members of a diverse and inclusive community at UAlberta.