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Thursday, October 29, 2020

What Is SJP Hiding?

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Among the criticisms of the National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) conference this weekend at UCLA has been their policy of selective exclusion.

Apparently, this policy extends to certain journalists, as I was repeatedly rejected by SJP from covering their conference.

I contacted them on Sept. 26 on the possibility of covering the conference; on Oct. 12 they sent me a link to apply for the conference. Those that get a reply within a couple of days after sending in the application are allowed in; no replies mean that you didn’t.

I never got a reply. I have since followed up with them twice: once last Friday, and again on Wednesday this past week. Still no response. A prominent Jewish leader on campus told me the conference is “hermetically sealed.”

My question: Why is SJP being so secretive about a conference they have proudly promoted with such colorful materials? What are they hiding?

They have been accused by numerous groups, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs and the Anti Defamation League, of promoting anti-Semitism and maligning the Jewish state. If these accusations are not accurate or overblown, why not allow people to come see for themselves?

From my end, I would have abided by the policies of the conference and not taken any pictures or recordings. If SJP is afraid of a disruption, isn’t that what security is for? Wouldn’t a disruption at their conference actually garner sympathy for them, especially after they’ve been accused of the May disruption at a Students Supporting Israel event?

My concern is that such secrecy only fuels the criticism that SJP is indeed anti-Semitic and harbors sympathy toward terror groups like Hamas.

Maybe it’s no coincidence that even the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on UCLA to cancel the conference.

In any event, for all those who were refused entry, there will be two counter-events on Sunday at UCLA: Yad Yamin’s at 10 a.m., and then Bruins for Israel’s celebration of Israel from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. I will be at both, and you should be there, too.

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