We are writing to formally make a complaint about the two articles in the April 22, 2013 edition of Broadside that contain blatant false statements of fact in the context of a clear intent to defame and/or dismantle Students Against Israeli Apartheid.
Erez Cramer’s claims of anti-Semitism and hate speech are predicated on SAIA’s advocacy “through posters” that Israel should be eliminated. He states as a fact that these posters exist and also blame Jews for America’s problems.
These posters do not exist. SAIA does not advocate any of these positions, and in fact has spoken against anti-Semitic and other types of hate speech. On April 13, the group posted its “Guiding Principles” to their Facebook page. The final paragraph states, “SAIA maintains a nonviolent and non-confrontational stance in both our actions and our speech. We reject any and all hateful speech, and will not be held accountable for such speech made on our behalf by non-members.” These principles were created before Hala Numan’s article ran in the Broadside. SAIA has not released any “anti-Semitism messages” in any form.
Through his opinion piece, Cramer shows clear intent to designate SAIA as a hate group, which is not only damaging to our organization, but also our members. He perpetuates his argument through false statements, the only conceivable way to substantiate such outrageous claims.
Cramer not only insinuates that SAIA is a hate group, but also that any students involved with SAIA are “inciting hatred,” which is a federal crime. SAIA also welcomes participation from people of all races and religions that agree with our Guiding Principles. Finally Cramer asserts that: “They believe that the world’s only Jewish state, (…), should not exist.” Again, this is a false statement of our beliefs, and was used by Cramer to demonstrate SAIA’s “anti-Semitic” nature.
In Michael Gryboski’s piece, he states that “What the SAIA, the SJP and the whole host of Palestine solidarity groups seek is the removal of every Jewish man, woman, and child from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, regardless of whether or not they belong to the Israeli Defense Forces.” Additionally, he states that, “They seek to create a singular ethnic nationalist state, purged of any Jewish communities.”
This is a false statement of fact. Stating that we want to ethnically cleanse Israel or the Occupied Territories of Jews is absolutely untrue. We have stated that we want everyone to have equal rights under the law, and a one-state solution. None of these goals include ethnic cleansing, which we vehemently oppose. By printing these false statements of fact, Gryboski aims to diminish our support and credibility in the Mason community.
Tareq Radi, on behalf of GMU Students Against Israeli Apartheid