Knight Referred to Oct. 7 Terrorist Attacks as "Amazing, Brilliant"
Vancouver, B.C. – January 24, 2024 – Yesterday, Langara College’s student newspaper, The Voice reported that the college would be reinstating Natalie Knight, who, at an October 28 rally, referred to the October 7 terrorist attacks committed by Hamas as “amazing, brilliant.”
Knight had been on leave since October 31, 2023, while the college conducted an investigation. According to The Voice, Knight spoke at a protest yesterday (January 23) claiming “I’ve been reinstated as an instructor with no disciplinary actions, which means we won.”
In response, Nico Slobinsky, Vice President Pacific Region, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said:
“Should Knight’s claim of reinstatement be true, it would be profoundly disappointing. This decision would send the very concerning message to Jewish and Israeli students, faculty, and staff that antisemitism is tolerated at Langara College.
“As an instructor, Knight has a responsibility to create a safe environment for all students, as does the college. Her actions at the October 28 rally, where she referred to the October 7 terrorist attacks committed by Hamas – the largest murder of Jews since the Holocaust – as “brilliant, amazing” compromised the safety of Langara’s Jewish community.
“Comments like the one made by Knight are not innocuous. Antisemitic rhetoric often results in real threats to the Jewish community in Vancouver. According to the Vancouver Police Department, police-reported antisemitic hate incidents increased by 62 percent in 2023 compared to 2022.
Also responding, Ezra Shanken, CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, said:
“Langara College’s decision, if true, is very upsetting for our community and for all Canadians who stand against terrorism. As I have previously stated, Natalie Knight should have been fired; it is highly inappropriate for a college to employ anyone who supports terrorism.
“If the college does indeed reinstate Knight, we now demand it release both the findings of its investigation and its plan to ensure that Jewish and Israeli students, faculty, staff, and all who oppose terrorism are safe. Langara community members deserve to know whether they may be in class with someone who has celebrated the October 7 terrorist attacks committed by Hamas, causing immense trauma.
“The security and comfort of the community is our utmost priority, and we expect that Langara will take these concerns seriously.”
Though the college has not responded to outreach, CIJA has requested to meet with the college’s administration and offered to work with them to create a safe environment for all students.
Stay In the Know!
Get all the latest information from our newsletter, "This Week in Canadian Jewish Advocacy."