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January 25, 2021 6:13 pm

Carleton University Resolution Targets Definition of Antisemitism, Warns Canadian Jewish Organization

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The National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa, Canada. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

B’nai Brith Canada called on Ottawa’s Carleton University to “act responsibly” and reject a resolution against the leading definition of antisemitism in a hearing scheduled for Thursday — one day after the world will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Carleton University Academic Staff Association (CUASA) will consider a resolution condemning the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, which has been accepted by 28 countries and a growing number of educational institutions.

Canada adopted the definition in 2019, and the province of Ontario officially did the same in an October, 2020 decision.

B’nai Brith said in a statement Monday that the resolution falsely claims that the IHRA Definition places Israel above criticism.

“Just as with legitimate criticism of Israel, the definition does not limit free speech; it allows us to identify speech that is antisemitic,” said Brian Herman, B’nai Brith Canada’s Director of Government Relations. “As the original drafters have said, the definition is ‘first and foremost an educational tool for those who need to know what antisemitism is’.”

“As a professional association, CUASA has an obligation to defend the rights of its entire membership, including Jewish members,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “University campuses have been among the focal points of antisemitism in Canada in recent years, and this resolution threatens to make matters worse.

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