B’nai Brith Canada apologizes over statement about York conference

B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish advocacy organization which has been highly critical of the conference to be held at York’s Glendon campus starting today, entitled Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace, has issued a statement of retraction and apology about one of its key claims. Here is the relevant text:

"On June 12, 2009, B’nai Brith Canada issued a community alert through its listserv JewishCanada regarding the conference. The alert set out a list of concerns including a claim that the conference would be hosting Holocaust deniers. This particular concern arose from a quote regarding Holocaust denial attributed to Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada, one of the presenters and a member of the conference’s advisory committee. The quote was found by our student intern on current live Web sites.  

"It has since come to our attention that this quote was and continues to be erroneously attributed to Mr. Abunimah by such Web sites. The quote that we attributed to Mr. Abunimah appears in an article written by somebody wholly different than him and in no way associated with him. On learning this, we immediately corrected our records and documents, removed the mistaken information from our Web site and notified the universities involved. This statement is also being sent over JewishCanada.

"B’nai Brith Canada regrets this specific error and apologizes to Mr. Abunimah, the conference organizers, York University, Queen’s University and the other sponsors and funders for any confusion or distress that this mistaken attribution may have caused."

The full statement and revised alert can be seen at the B’nai Brith Canada Web site.