(JTA) — An African-American student group took out ads in college newspapers blasting Israel Apartheid Week organizers for abusing the term.
In a full page ad titled "Words matter" and appearing in newspapers on April 7, the Vanguard Leadership Group accused Students for Justice in Palestine of a "false and deeply offensive" characterization of Israel.
"SJP has chosen to manipulate rather than inform with this illegitimate analogy," Vanguard says in the ad, which is signed by members who attend several historically black colleges. "We request that you immediately stop referring to Israel as an apartheid society and to acknowledge that the Arab minority in Israel enjoys full citizenship with voting rights and representation in the government."
The ad appeared in newspapers on campuses that saw Israel Apartheid Week activity in February, including Brown University, UCLA, Columbia University and the University of Maryland.
Vanguard, a leadership development group for students from historically black universities, in recent years has forged ties with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and its members have visited Israel.