University of Winnipeg Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Event

October 25, 2018
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The University of Winnipeg admitted that an event held earlier in the year on campus was anti-Semitic and has apologized for it.

The event, “My Jerusalem: Responding to the U.S. Embassy Announcement,” took place on Feb. 28 during Purim. B’nai Brith Canada said at the time that the event featured two Palestinian speakers – Fadi Ennab and Idris Elbakri – accusing Israel of “genocide” of being the equivalent of “European settlers.

B’nai Brith also accused the panel of being “one-sided” and not providing the pro-Israel perspective.

“The University of Winnipeg should not be spending public money on absurd anti-Israel propaganda,” B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn, said in a statement at the time. “It is absolutely shameful to host an event concerning Judaism’s holiest city on a Jewish holiday, while refusing to include any mainstream Jewish voices.”

“The University administration owes Winnipeg Jews an apology.”

The university established a committee to investigate the matter; the committee concluded that the event met the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. The committee recommended that the university publicly acknowledge the anti-Semitism that took place and take steps to ensure that it never happens again, such as putting on events that educates students on the Holocaust and anti-Semitic stereotypes.

“The University regrets the anti-Semitic statements made at the My Jerusalem event,” the university said in an Oct. 18 statement.

The statement added that while the university did not organize the event, the Respectful Workplace and Learning Environment (RWLE) standards were still applicable to an on-campus event, and such anti-Semitic statements violate the RWLE standards.

“Whether providing space, hosting or organizing events or discussions, the University strives to ensure a respectful environment,” the statement read “In response to the recommendations contained within the report, the University will work with members of the Jewish community and other racialized groups to enhance our campus environment and promote safety and inclusivity.”

Ran Ukashi, national director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights told Arutz Sheva he was “pleased” with the university’s statement.

“This incident also highlights the importance of universities using the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of antisemitism, as it clearly identifies what constitutes anti-Semitism, which includes the promotion of anti-Jewish hatred under the guise of anti-Zionism,” Ukashi said.

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