In an email to CBC Hamilton, Jama’s office confirmed she removed her name Monday afternoon.
The letter called for:
An immediate ceasefire.
Urgent restoration of water and other necessities.
Open humanitarian corridors and crossings for medical reasons.
Israel to “free all Palestinian prisoners.”
Israel to “lift its siege on Gaza, and end its illegal occupation.”
Jama’s office said she signed the letter to support the calls listed above.
“Sarah has signed onto many petitions in good faith calling for a ceasefire, including a federal petition sponsored by the NDP that has received hundreds of thousands of signatures across the country,” her office wrote.
The letter also said sexual assault claims against Hamas were “unverified.” It also called on members of parliament to resign.
Jama’s team didn’t say why she removed her name but said she stands against all forms of violence and sexual assault.
The director University of Alberta’s sexual assault centre was replaced after endorsing the letter.
On social media platform X, formerly Twitter, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs thanked the University of Alberta for its “decisive action” and asked: “Shouldn’t a sexual assault centre believe all victims, including the Jewish ones?”
Israeli authorities have said they are investigating several cases of sexual assault and rape during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.
Last week, Israel’s national police chief showed a small group of international reporters video testimony from an eyewitness at a music festival in southern Israel who described watching another woman being violently sexually assaulted by multiple people before she was shot in the head.
Jama questioned Hamas sexual assault claims before
A video also spread on social media last week in which Jama said claims of sexual assault during the Oct. 7 attack had been “been disproven publicly,” despite claims from the Israeli government.
“The [Israel Defense Forces] themselves have said there’s no actual evidence of these rapes and the babies with their heads cut off. All of these are pieces of misinformation,” she said in the video, recorded earlier this month.
Jama’s office verified the video, saying it was a clip from an hour-long lecture alongside Michael Lynk, a former United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories and associate professor at Western University in London, Ont.
“She was attempting to shed light on propaganda from the state of Israel … [and] to highlight that we must be very critical of what we read on the internet and that the fog of war made credible information difficult to discern,” her office wrote.
“We have seen this to be true many times over with the amount of misinformation continuously spreading about forms of violence being used in this conflict.”
Avi Asher-Schapiro, a tech reporter with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, told CBC’s Front Burner last month that both “Israelis and Hamas are going to engage in propaganda… to spread their version of events,” he said, speaking about no specific claim. “Algorithmically driven” social media feeds make the situation complex, he added.
“It’s the job of human rights organizations, international monitors, careful journalists to confirm accounts, you know, with witness testimony, through verification, through newer techniques of open source investigations,” he said.
“I’m hopeful we’ll get to the bottom of all the sorts of claims of horrific atrocities that have come out of the region.”
WATCH: Hamilton Centre MPP Sarah Jama describes being removed from the Ontario NDP caucus
Featured VideoSarah Jama said she learned of her removal from the Ontario NDP via email and has not heard from party leader Marit Stiles.
The NDP said it was because Jama took “a number of unilateral actions” and contributed “to unsafe work environments” for staff.
Jama said she was kicked out because she called for a ceasefire in Gaza “too early” and because she called Israel an “apartheid state.”
A 2022 Amnesty International report formally accused the Israeli government of building an apartheid state in its occupied territories, but Canada has said it rejects the view that “Israel’s actions constitute apartheid.”
Her ouster from the NDP came after she posted a statement on Oct. 10 to X, formerly Twitter, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as well as an “end to all occupation of Palestinian land.”
The statement prompted support from groups such as Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East and condemnation from groups such as The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.