Editor, Daily Nexus,

This letter is in response to the letter “Lecturer Contributes Nothing New to Palestine-Israel Debate,” (Daily Nexus, Feb. 18). There are two student advocacy groups on campus representing different perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: American Students for Israel (ASI) and the Student Action Forum on the Middle East (SAFME). What differentiates these two groups is that only ASI is straightforward about its purpose: to ensure that Israel’s side of the story is heard. SAFME, on the other hand, cloaks their pro-Palestinian advocacy in sanctimony and pretensions of impartiality. By impartiality, of course, they mean hosting speakers across the spectrum from pro-Palestinian to anti-Israeli.

This is hypocritical dishonesty. ASI members have been to each and every SAFME event. Alternatively, how many SAFME members have been to our events? Oh, that’s right, they don’t have to, because they promote “a fuller understanding … than one would hear from the likes of Mr. Prager.”

In their quest to promote understanding, they couldn’t find the time to actually attend the event they wrote the Nexus to complain about. One sentence in a Nexus article is more than enough to tell them that there was “nothing fresh nor in-depth about it.” It takes a considerable amount of self-absorbed hubris to criticize such a well-respected individual who nearly filled I.V. Theater without even attending.

But if SAFME is really committed to promoting “critical thought and discussion,” then let’s do it. Their letter does not state, despite its intellectual arrogance, that SAFME in fact recently rejected an invitation for debate from ASI.

It’s unbelievable if you think about it: They decline to accept our invitation for debate, then turn around and criticize our one-sidedness. For this reason, ASI hereby challenges SAFME to a public debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our e-mail address is . We await your reply.


President, American Students for Israel Executive Board