Ex-Queen’s professor suspended for post about war in Middle East

Commenters urge Queen’s University to act

Image by: Herbert Wang

A former Queen’s professor is facing threats and doxing following a social media post.

Former Associate Professor in Queen’s Department of Medicine Dr. Ben Thomson was suspended from his role as a nephrologist at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital following his posts supporting Palestine on the social media platform X, formally known as Twitter.

On Oct. 10, Thomson took to X to deny claims about actions taken by militant group Hamas during their Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

“No babies were beheaded, there have been no confirmed reports of rapes. You repeat this nonsense out of racism. In the meantime, Palestinians are experiencing genocide and war crimes and you are silent. History will judge you very badly,” Thomson said in a since-deleted post on X.

Thomson formerly taught at Queen’s School of Medicine, but The Journal couldn’t verify the exact dates of his employment. According to a research paper with Thomson as the first author, he was affiliated with Queen’s University up until November 2021.

People responded to the post with outrage, calling on Queen’s University to condemn the former employee’s actions.

“The bodies of decapitated babies have not even been buried yet and we have Canadian physicians spending conspiracy theories and denying what happened. […] Let @queensu know,” a user by the name of “Documenting Antisemitism” commented on X.

Commentors on the same X post echo similar sentiments, with many tagging the University.

“Shame on you—queensu, care to [sic] weight in?” a user by the name of “SDiamantstein” said on X.

Thomson has received threats and doxing, with his address publicly disclosed on a platform where patients rate their medical practitioners, CBC reported.

Following Thomson’s condemnation on social media, current employer Mackenzie Health issued a statement on Oct. 12. The statement underscored that social media posts from physicians and staff don’t reflect Mackenzie Health’s views and values.

According to CBC, Thomson was suspended for one month without pay from his position. However, Mackenzie Health denied to CBC reporters that Thomson was suspended for his views on the war in the Middle East.

Thomson continues to post about the conflict on social media. He again took to his X account on Oct. 13 to criticize people who have accepted the claim Hamas beheaded babies without substantiation. Thomson said these claims dehumanize Gazans.

Thomson has long remained unwavering in his convictions. He founded EmpowerMe Gaza, a fundraising campaign to power Gaza’s hospitals with solar energy in 2015. By the time the campaign ended in 2019, it had raised $297,081. An email writing campaign led by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East is urging Mackenzie Health to reverse Thomson’s suspension. Over 13,000 emails have been sent.


Palestine, professor, suspended

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