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Dr. Catherine Chatterley


B’nai Brith on Campus sponsors Dr. Catherine Chatterly presentation during Middle East Week

by Rhonda J. Prepes, March 21, 2013

B’nai Brith on Campus – Winnipeg sponsors Middle East Week Event
by Rhonda J. Prepes

B'nai Brith on Campus – Winnipeg sponsored a presentation by Dr. Catherine Chatterley, founding director of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism (CISA) and History Professor at the University of Manitoba during the second annual Middle East Week at the University of Winnipeg.
B’nai Brith on Campus – Winnipeg one of B’nai Brith’s human rights activities, has now acquired status at the University of Manitoba and is in the process of submitting for status at the University of Winnipeg. Its mission is to provide more accurate information and to raise awareness of the positive aspects of Israel.

“Louisa Raizman and I were thrilled that Dr. Chatterley accepted the opportunity to speak on the subject of Antisemitism during Middle East Week at the University of Winnipeg, said Earl Barish,” co-chair of B’nai Brith on Campus.

“We believe that Dr. Axworthy's goal is to provide a balanced look at the Middle East. As our goal within the B'nai Brith Campus initiative is education and advocacy, this opportunity fit perfectly. Dr. Chatterley's depth of understanding and dynamic presentation provided a very special opportunity for those who attended. We are very grateful to her.”

In her presentation to almost 100 people, Chatterley explained how and why anti-Zionism and Antisemitism have increasingly converged over the last six decades. Her audience was comprised of a mixture of students, professors, and members of the public, both Jews and non-Jews. The lecture traced the origins of Antisemitism from Christian theology through European history into the contemporary context. Dr. Chatterley explained how and why Europeans - Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in the 20th century - introduced Antisemitism into the Arab and Islamic worlds and demonstrated how these lies and libels about the Jewish people are now at work in current thinking about the conflict with Israel.

“I think it is a good idea that the University has Middle East Week as a counter to Israeli Apartheid Week. Chatterley’s lecture was very interesting and she made some good points about the origins of Antisemitism. I appreciated the distinction she made between anti-Israel propaganda and Antisemitism because that’s what I was looking to get out of this,” said Ashley Kaufmann student at University of Winnipeg.

Middle East Week was initiated by University of Winnipeg President Lloyd Axworthy last year as a way to respond to Israel Apartheid Week with the intention to provide a respectful and engaging space for relevant dialogue and learning about that region of the world.

As a student of Chatterley's class at the University of Manitoba, Alex Dashefsky said, “I highly enjoyed Dr. Chatterley's lecture today. Her opinions are insightful, while supported with a fierce academic backbone.”

“She helped shed a new light on a controversial topic at the forefront of many minds as a result of the upcoming Israeli Apartheid Week. The bridge that Chatterley uncovered between Antisemitism and anti-Zionism will help reshape my views on Israel and the antisemitic sentiment stemming from the Christian imagination.”

“I am a strong supporter of the concept of B`nai Brith on Campus - Winnipeg and hope to participate further in the future,” he said.

This article first appeared in the Jewish Tribune

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