A member of the BC United executive board resigned Oct. 24 over a social media post that the Conservative Party of B.C. said was sympathetic to terrorists.
Gul Gulsen, who was the party’s secretary, reacted to the Oct. 18 explosion at the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza by reposting a link to a story by Al Jazeera English and including her thoughts on the incident.
“For those accepting claims that Hamas was behind the hospital bombing: you have sold your critical thinking skills to the genocidal cause… just what western media and governments wanted.” She included the hashtags #PalestineGenocide #Gaza #GazaHospitalAttack and #CeasefireNOW.
The Israel Defense Forces denied bombing the hospital and released evidence that pointed to an explosion caused by a rocket shot from inside Gaza. The U.S., U.K., France and eventually Canada agreed that Israel did not bomb the hospital.
On Tuesday, on X, formerly known as Twitter, the Conservatives called it “deeply disturbing and upsetting to see… Gulsen defending Hamas, peddle disinformation and call Israel a genocidal state.”
BC United leader Kevin Falcon reacted by contacting party president John Yap and directing him to call for Gulsen’s immediate resignation. Falcon said he strongly condemned the remarks and reaffirmed the party’s “unequivocal support for the Jewish community here in B.C. as well as Israel’s right to exist and defend itself.”
In her “statement of clarification and resignation,” Gulsen said she complied, but maintained that her “defence of innocent Palestinian civilians does not by any means intend anti-semitism, denial of Israel’s right to exist, or defence of Hamas’ terrorism.” She threatened legal action against those that suggest otherwise.
“The posts were not intended to offend anyone, but to bring awareness to atrocities being carried out in Palestine, which have been internationally acknowledged as war crimes,”said Gulsen’s statement.
Her statement mentioned unsourced estimates of 5,000 deaths in Gaza, which correspond with estimates collected by the United Nations. However, she did not mention the 1,300-plus Israeli civilians killed in Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attack (including at least five Canadians), nor the 200-plus Israeli hostages taken by Hamas.
The Canadian government has considered Hamas a terrorist group since 2002.
“I certainly feel that my rights to exercise freedom of speech have been infringed on in my personal life as a result of my association with the BC United Party,” said Gulsen’s statement.
Gulsen could not be reached for further comment. The director of administration at the Bennett Jones law firm, where Gulsen had been ex-Premier Christy Clark’s assistant, said she had not worked there since Sept. 27.
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