February 23rd, 2024

Minister sorry for ‘crappy piece of land’ remark that angered pro-Palestinian groups

By The Canadian Press on February 2, 2024.

British Columbia's post-secondary education minister has apologized for saying Israel was founded on a "crappy piece of land," remarks that have angered pro-Palestinian groups and triggered calls for her resignation. B.C. Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills Selina Robinson speaks during an announcement in Delta, B.C., Tuesday, May 2, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

British Columbia’s Post-Secondary Education Minister Selina Robinson has apologized for saying Israel was founded on a “crappy piece of land,” remarks that have angered pro-Palestinian groups and others and triggered calls for her resignation.

Robinson said in a social media post on Thursday that her comments were “disrespectful,” and she was referring to the land having limited natural resources.

She made the original remarks in an online panel discussion with Jewish politicians hosted by B’nai Brith Canada.

Video of the discussion streamed on YouTube on Tuesday shows Robinson lamenting a lack of knowledge about the origins of modern Israel, saying the land on which it was founded “had nothing on it,” before adding that there were “several hundred thousand people.”

Robinson said in her apology on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that her remarks diminished “the connection that Palestinians also have to the land,” and she apologized unreservedly.

Groups including Independent Jewish Voices Canada have called for Robinson to resign over the remarks.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has meanwhile called on Robinson to quit for an alleged intervention that led to the termination of a college instructor who had praised the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2024.

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