29 August 2012

Wits University Student Representative Council Press Statement on Boycott of Israel Resolution (Adopted)

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Student Representative Council (SRC) has passed a resolution that calls for the full cultural and academic boycott of Israeli institutions. The resolution was brought forth to the SRC by the Wits Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) and was unanimously adopted.

The resolution states that the SRC will “not participate in any form of cultural or academic collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions and will not provide support to Israeli cultural or academic institutions”.

Furthermore, the resolution calls for an investigation into any associations that the University may have with any Israeli institutions including academic, financial and cultural relations. The SRC of Wits University has committed itself to “actively campaign and lobby for the University to divest from such relations to further support the boycott of Israel and justice in Palestine” upon the discovery of such existing Israeli relations.

The Wits SRC, as the executive representative of the student body, will also begin to actively promote and continue to support the annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) initiative. IAW, which has developed into an international campaign held in more than 120 cities and campuses around the world.

In 2011, the University of Johannesburg cut its academic ties with the Israeli institution, Ben-Gurion University. This was a precedent-setting campaign that has since fueled more boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel actions in South Africa and around the world. (www.ujpetition.com)

This is yet another progressive step in the Palestinian solidarity movement in South Africa led by the youth. South African youth were a driving force in ending apartheid in South Africa and have expressed and demonstrated their solidarity with the Palestinians who continue to face Israeli apartheid and occupation. The importance of the passage of this resolution should not be understated, as it is a landmark victory in the BDS movement and the struggle for Palestinian rights and freedom.

For more information:
Wits University SRC President
Tebogo Thotela
Cell: +27 (0) 74 585 ****