The University of Lethbridge has reinstated a professor who had been suspended more than one year ago for questioning the Holocaust and suggesting there was a Zionist connection to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Anthony Hall, a tenured professor in the university’s globalization studies program, was reinstated “based on an agreement between he, the faculty association (ULFA) and the university. This agreement enables the university to now commence an investigation of Dr. Hall’s activities under the auspices of the faculty agreement. Dr. Hall has not returned to the classroom,” said Kurt Schlachter, chair of the University of Lethbridge board of governors.
Contacted by The CJN, the ULFA stated, “It’s a personnel matter and its confidential.”
Hall was originally suspended in October 2016 over his Holocaust denial and conspiracy theories. B’nai Brith Canada slammed Hall’s reinstatement and blamed the government of Alberta for passing legislation that brought faculty under the province’s labour-relations laws.
“Premier (Rachel) Notley and her government bear direct responsibility for placing a discredited conspiracy theorist back in a university classroom,” said Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada. “We repeatedly warned the government of the likely outcome of its actions, but they sadly chose to ignore our warnings and expose Alberta university students to anti-Semitism and discrimination instead.
“Despite this setback, we expect the University of Lethbridge to continue fighting anti-Semitism on campus, and to do whatever it takes to ensure that Hall has no podium for his unhinged anti-Semitic nonsense.”
In an email cited in a news release by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), Premier Notley stated, “There is no question that the views of this individual are repulsive, offensive and not reflective of Alberta. Our classrooms are a place for freedom of speech and expression but that does not mean individuals get to stand at the head of the class and spread lies and conspiracy theories. I am terribly disappointed to learn that this individual has been reinstated, but let me be clear that legislation that our government introduced did not give him his job back. I can confirm that this individual is now under investigation by a committee at the university.”
Jared Shore, chair of the Calgary Jewish Federation’s community relations committee, said, “We are deeply disappointed that Hall has returned to the University of Lethbridge. While we recognize due process is crucial in labour matters, we firmly believe this investigation must conclude with his permanent dismissal.”
“Anthony Hall’s behaviour is not only offensive to our community. It’s an insult to academia,” said Shimon Fogel, CEO of CIJA. “Those who peddle anti-Semitic conspiracies disqualify themselves from a place of higher learning. We have been in direct communication with the university and the government of Alberta at the highest levels to convey our concerns. We know these officials share our disgust with Hall’s record of anti-Semitism, which is why we expect this investigation to end with his permanent removal from campus.”
Hall has maintained that under the principle of academic freedom, he should be free to espouse his views.
He is quoted in the Lethbridge Herald saying, “I believe we have a significant public service to perform at the University of Lethbridge by addressing in a properly constituted academic venue some of the contentious issues that have been raised. Those most attuned to the importance of maintaining existing protections for academic freedom, for tenure and for the conditions of healthy, open debate on all subjects inside and outside of universities will appreciate the significance of delivering this matter to the internal procedures of our own institutions of higher learning.”