The University of Lethbridge confirmed Oct. 5 that it has suspended without pay the professor accused by Jewish groups of disseminating Zionist conspiracy theories and encouraging speculation about the Holocaust.
In a statement, university spokesperson Trevor Kenney confirmed that Prof. Anthony Hall was suspended in accordance with Alberta’s Post-Secondary Learning Act and pending the results of an internal investigation into possible violations of Canada’s Human Rights Act.
The statement also said that Hall “has been removed from contact with students.”
The tenured professor of liberal education and globalization studies swiftly responded with a video posted to YouTube.
In it, Hall speaks of his 26 years of contributions to the university and expresses sympathy for university president Mike Mahon, who he says was subjected to great pressure by B’nai Brith Canada, the Jewish advocacy organization that he claims “has essentially taken control of my university’s administration.”
The decision to suspend him signifies a “crisis” not just for him, Hall says in the video, but for all universities.
He said he and other academics critical of Israel are up against “a very organized lobby that wants to break down the structural basis for free and open discussion… on every subject, including Israel-Palestine relations.”
He also spoke about the importance of allowing discussion on “the disparity between the official narrative of what happened on 9/11 and the evidence, which doesn’t support this narrative.”
B’nai Brith praised the university for suspending Hall.
“It is gratifying to see that the university has taken decisive action, and has chosen to protect their students and their reputation as an institute of higher learning,” said B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn.
Hall has been on the radar of B’nai Brith and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) for several years for espousing what both groups have said are explicitly anti-Semitic views.
In August, CIJA asked the University of Lethbridge to take disciplinary action against Hall, who co-hosts a YouTube show called False Flag Weekly News, which promotes theories that Jews and Zionists have been behind a series of terror events, beginning with 9/11.
The request came after the Lethbridge Herald reported that the university was defending Hall’s right to promote conspiracy theories online, including one claiming Jewish Zionists are waging a war on Muslims through control of western media.
In September, CIJA and the Calgary Jewish Federation demanded that the university remove Hall from the classroom.
Also last month, B’nai Brith urged the university to fire Hall for using his academic credentials to deny the Holocaust and promote 9/11 conspiracy theories.
In a press release, B’nai Brith said that Hall is a staunch advocate of launching what he calls “an open debate on the Holocaust,” as is Holocaust denier and former Green Party of Canada candidate Monika Schaefer, who Hall has said should be the next leader of the Greens.
Hall made news in August after someone posted an image to his profile containing a screed full of anti-Semitic slurs and Holocaust denial.
Confirmation of Hall’s suspension followed a statement circulated earlier on Oct. 5 by CIJA, which said Mahon had told the group the administration had requested Hall “enter into a discussion about a mutually agreed termination of [his] appointment to the university.”
CIJA CEO Shimon Fogel commended the university for trying to fire Hall, calling the situation “a precedent-setting case in light of ongoing ‘abuse of podium’ by instructors at various universities” and noting that in “seeking Hall’s dismissal, the administration has affirmed that academic freedom does not include the right to promote hateful conspiracy theories.”