PRESS RELEASE: BDS South Africa Clarification on Palestine News Agency Report on the University of Johannesburg
BDS South Africa has been informed of a news report in Wafa - the Palestine News and Info Agency* which states that the University of Johannesburg Council has decided not to accept “Israeli academics nor accept Israeli students in its different faculties unless they sign a pledge not to cooperate with Israeli military and security institutions.”
This news report is not completely accurate, the UJ Council has not taken a decision to personally disallow Israeli academic or students, instead, the UJ Senate in 2011 terminated its relations with Israel's Ben Gurion University becoming the world’s first university to effectively impose an academic boycott on Israel. The academic boycott of Israel is against Israeli institutions not Israeli individuals.
Since the decision that the University of Johannesburg’s Senate took three years ago to terminate institutional relations with Ben Gurion University there has been no further moves on the academic boycott front at UJ. This report in Wafa is thus erroneous. There are indeed a number of academics and others in the university community throughout South Africa who are beginning to call for Israeli academics in their personal capacity to also condemn Israel’s Occupation and to distance themselves from it before visiting or collaborating with South African academics, but that call and movement has only begun.
Issued By Professor Farid Esack
Chairperson, BDS South Africa
For further information e-mail Prof Esack at firstname.lastname@example.org. Professor Esack is also a member of the University of Johannesburg Senate