From the JPOST:
African-American student leaders from a variety of historically black colleges and universities took out full page ads in numerous American college newspapers Thursday, displaying an “Open Letter to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP),” to convey that they were offended by SJP’s use of the term “apartheid” at recent Israel Apartheid Week events at campuses across the country.
The 16 signatories to the letter are students and alumni from historically black colleges and universities who are members of the Vanguard Leadership Group, a leadership development academy and honor society for top students. The letter ran or is slated to run in student newspapers at Brown University, University of California- Los Angeles, University of Maryland and Columbia University over the next few days
The Students for Justice in Palestine’s labeling of Israel, an extremely diverse and vibrant country, as an apartheid state is not only false, but offensive,” Vanguard President Michael Hayes told The Jerusalem Post. “Additionally, this rhetoric does absolutely nothing to help Israel-Palestine negotiations or relations. We feel this type of action serves to hinder the peace process domestically and abroad, and have made it our priority to take a stand to shift the tide of understanding.”
In a statement released by the Vanguard Leadership Group as to why they authored the open letter to SJP, Vanguard described itself as “proudly involved in the pro-Israel movement in America.
“The use of the word ‘apartheid’ by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in its characterization of Israel is patently false and deeply offensive to all who feel a connection to the state of Israel,” the letter reads. “Your organization’s campaign against Israel is spreading misinformation about its policies, fostering bias in the media and jeopardizing prospects for a timely resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Such irresponsibility is a blemish on your efforts.”
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