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South Africa university refuses support for Israel boycott

November 28, 2019 at 10:57 am

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Senate last week rejected a resolution to join an academic boycott of Israel.

The ballot, held on Friday, saw 68 per cent of the 363 members oppose the proposal which would have seen UCT “not enter any formal relationships with Israeli academic institutions operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as well as other Israeli academic institutions enabling gross human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

The UCT’s Student Representative Council (UCT SRC) backed a call to boycott Israeli produce in 2014, and “unconditionally” declared Israel an Apartheid state.

The Palestine Solidarity Forum (PSF) at UCT labelled the senate’s decision as “a clear indication of persisting conservatism” and being “beholden to its donors and the Zionist lobby”.

READ: Nelson Mandela’s church has adopted a boycott of Israel to be emulated 

“It is a clear indication of the persisting conservatism of UCT and the fact that UCT, and the vice-chancellor in particular, is beholden to its donors and the Zionist lobby.

“It sets a remarkably dangerous precedent that donors can dictate university policy – an affront to and violation of academic freedom; one of which UCT heroes of academic freedom, such as TB Davie, would be ashamed,” the PSF said.

“This is not nearly the end of the struggle. There have been a great many positives throughout the campaign and we have progressed far further than ever expected, really shining a light on the atrocities committed by the Israeli state with the complicity of much of Israeli academia.