South Africans welcomes the withdrawal of seven Israelis from an upcoming academic conference at Stellenbosch University

29 November 2018

South African civil society has welcomed the withdrawal of all the seven Israelis from an up upcoming academic conference due to take place at Stellenbosch University (click here).

The withdrawal came following a call from and engagement by, several groups led by the Palestine solidarity campaign and supported by the PSA, SA Jews for a Free Palestine, MRN and others. In an open letter the organisations called for the withdrawal of the Israeli academics from the Recognition, Reparation, Reconciliation conference, in line with the international academic boycott of Israel (click here).

In 2005, inspired by the successful boycott against Apartheid South Africa during the 1980s, Palestinians issued a call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it ends its human rights abuses and violations of international law. Since then thousands of scholars, various academic bodies and several universities and institutions have adopted the boycott of Israel (click here).

Last year one of South Africa’s largest universities, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), officially backed the academic boycott of Israel and in 2011 the University of Johannesburg implemented an academic boycott against Israel when it terminated relations with Israel’s Ben Gurion University.

The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa salutes fellow South African solidarity groups, Stellenbosch academics and activists for their engagements with Stellenbosch University and continued advancement of the academic boycott against Israel (click here for a DailyMaverick article by Stellenbosch academic, Professor Kagee). In particular we commend the conference organisers for their respectful engagements and ultimate decision to respect the PACBI guidelines for the implementation of the academic boycott against Israel.

We wish the over 350 people from 23 countries who have registered for the upcoming conference success and best wishes in the deliberations.


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