KANATA VILLAGE/BRANTFORD – Anthony Hall, a University of Lethbridge Alberta tenured professor, lecturer and author, is fighting back from what he believes is an attack on freedom of speech, critical thought and the entire institution of tenure.
Hall is the author of several papers and the critically acclaimed books, The American Empire and the Fourth World: The Bowl With One Spoon, Part One, and Earth into Property: Colonization, Decolonization, and Capitalism. He has also recently finished a two-volume publishing project at McGill-Queen’s University Press entitled, The Bowl with One Spoon supporting indigenous rights and specifically, Mohawk and Six Nations’ rights and has visited Six Nations many times.
Hall was back in the area again recently on the invitation of Bill Squire and the Mohawk Nation of the Grand River Territory (Mohawk Workers) in their annual celebration of the Haldimand Proclamation at Kanata Village.
He and Squire had first met several years ago when Hall was asked to testify as a court recognized expert in the case of Pierre Fournier, who was on trial for producing and selling status cards in the name of The League of Indian Nations of North America back in the early 2000s.
But last month, Hall was brought down by what he believes is a smear campaign to suppress the inclusion of a critical look at the birth of Israel in his curriculum and his extra curricular publications such as radio and his YouTube channel.
Hall says a smear campaign begun by a far right-wing Israeli organization known as Beni Breth, accuses him of anti-semitic teachings and have branded him as a holocaust denier, in the order of Ernst Zündel.
The accusation of the University has severally damaged his reputation as one of Canada’s foremost authorities on colonialism and it’s impact on First Nations, and in particular, Six Nations.
He parallels the arbitrary action of the removal of Palestinians from their traditional homeland to implement an Israeli State at the end of the second world war, with the systematic removal of North American Indians from their lands, using religion as the weapon of choice.
“This is an attack on the institution of tenure,” says Hall. “Tenure is an institution that is there to protect specialty faculty dealing with controversial subject matter. We go through peer review and the president [of the University] has the right to review what I might say off campus as well as in the classroom, but he is not an authority in this field. He’s a Phys Ed teacher and a recent arrival at the University for maybe four or five years. I do not know him, he has never taken the trouble to talk to me in any way and I have not had a chance to face my accusers or explain my position on the matter.”
Although he is personally offended at the Universities decision, as an academic, he is mostly concerned with the possible suppression of critical thought and objective study.
“In my opinion, he has betrayed his calling as an academic, by not defending academic freedom,” Hall says.
He believes his University has bowed to the pressure from the Beni Breth, a far right-wing Israeli organization acting as a watchdog for what it believes is anti-Semitism, world wide. He is baffled by the severity of the University’s actions.
“So if a cop, for instance, shoots someone, he or she is suspended with pay until the matter is resolved,” he argues. “But in my case, I was immediately removed from my class, without pay, and that is not fair, not only to me, but to my students.”
He claims his reputation has been irreparably tarnished by this incident, which Hall says has absolutely no merit or precedent for such a serious action.
Halls permanent suspension is pending the outcome of an internal investigation by the University into possible violations of the Human Rights Act, university officials said in a statement.
In his articles and broadcasts Hall has spoken out against what he understands to be a Zionist political right-wing extremist mindset represented by Beni Breth, a very well-funded, worldwide organization backed by the Israeli government and that it is political in nature.
Hall believes political Israel is quite another thing from spiritual or biological Jewisness.
“In the days of Pekah, king of Israel, came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria. (II Kings 15:29).” This happened in around 720 B.C.
For more than 2,000 years, there was no state of Israel, however, the people of Israel amazingly kept their culture, ceremonies and religion intact while in exile in countries around the world.
After WWII ended, the U.S., Britain and its allies divide up what was Palestine, herded families that had lived on that land for 2,000 years handing what is now known as Israel over to the Jewish people to accommodate their return to the Levant. Perhaps one of the strongest motivating factors was the shock and outrage of the Nazi death camps and the attempted extermination of the Jews as a race.
But Hall wants to take a closer look at the establishment of the State of Israel at the expense of Palestine and Palestinians who have settled there since the exile thousands of years ago.
That move itself alerted Beni Breth, who began work on Halls removal claiming him to be anti-semitic. But Hall believes academia should have no taboos or untouchable places.
“The University of Lethbridge has abandoned its responsibility to defend academic freedom to a point where it has put a poison knife back of the institution of tenure,” Hall says.
He is using his own case as evidence of how sensitive western academia has become to any critical look into virtually anything Israel has said or done, or may say or do.
Does that make him an anti-Semitist? That is something Hall denies and is gambling his entire reputation on.
Hall has also been called a Holocaust denier by his accusers for teaching that the Holocaust of the Jews, as horrific as it was, was certainly not the first nor the last time an overt policy of genocide was enacted upon an identifiable group of people for political and financial gain as in North America and its attempted genocide of the Indigenous Peoples by waves of European settlers and their governments.
He sees his situation as a test case to protect the freedom of thought for a tenured professor anywhere in Canada.
“If you are a tenured professor, and you feel safe and secure,” Hall warns, “you better think twice because the writing is on the wall on this.”
Hall says the ‘attack’ on him began in late August of 2016 when a racist overtly posting was placed on his Facebook page without his knowledge or consent. The B’nai Brith immediately publicized the offensive content of the post to launch a concerted smear and disinformation campaign implying falsely that Hall seeks to “Kill All Jews.”
Hall feels it is fair to investigate and speak out on Israel’s alleged genocidal treatment of the Aboriginal Palestinians.
See Hall’s website, American Herald Tribune or his YouTube Channel, for his postings on the subject.
Hall is prepared to take the issue to court if the University tribunal sustains his permanent removal.to by Jim Windle