Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Editorial Note: The
following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may
also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology.
Comments are in parentheses.
Johannesburg University Joins Academic Boycott of
Thursday March 24, 2011 10:42 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News
One of South Africa's most prominent universities has announced that
it will cut all financial and academic ties with Israel's largest
university, Ben Gurion University, due to Ben Gurion University's
"collaboration with military, occupation and apartheid practices."
The decision to join the academic boycott, which was called by
Palestinian academics in 2005, came just one week after a group of
academics from across South Africa published a report called “Findings
on Ben-Gurion University of the Negev: Institutional Complicity and
Active Collaboration with Israeli Military, Occupation and Apartheid
The two universities had partnered in a water
research project, and some Israeli critics have claimed that South
Africa's water quality will suffer as a result of the boycott.
But University of Johannesburg Deputy Vice Chancellor Adam Habib
challenged that claim, saying, “There has been quite a lot of scare
mongering that if the partnership breaks, South Africa will be confined
to bad water quality. The quality of our water is suffering because we
are not spending the type of money on cleaning water that we need to,
and not employing skill sets required. We can deal with acid rain water
in the region if we are prepared to spend money.”
African University joins hundreds of other universities, colleges, trade
unions and churches worldwide, including South Africa's largest trade
union, COSATU, which have divested economically and boycotted Israeli
institutions and companies involved in the military occupation of
The boycott is aimed at pressuring Israel to
adhere to its obligations under international law and past signed
agreements, to end its occupation of Palestinian land, and to provide
equal rights for Palestinians.
Organizers of the boycott have
compared the movement to the anti-apartheid efforts of the 1970s and
80s, which eventually helped bring an end to the race-based political
system in South Africa that discriminated against the indigenous African
population to privilege the white minority that had immigrated there
from Europe. South African activists have been at the forefront of the
movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel for its
discriminatory policies and practices toward Palestinians.
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