Pro-Israel students at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand fought back against a BDS-inspired effort to shut down a rally featuring an Arab-Israeli speaker.
The group of mostly Jewish students formed a protective ring around the speaker when anti-Israel students tried to storm their rally on Tuesday.
“The BDS people came waving their flags, screaming and cursing me, giving me the middle finger,” the speaker, who gave his name as Yahya, told the Algemeiner. “They were very violent and unethical.”
Jewish students sang “Am Yisrael Chai” and forced the BDS proponents to back off.
The confrontation came amid a broader fight over Israel Apartheid Week at the elite university.
StandWithUs, a stridently pro-Israel group, brought the speaker to campus as a way of countering the anti-Israel narrative on the campus, which has been wracked by periodic student protests in recent months.
South African Students Sing In Hebrew To Fight Back Against BDS
Dave Goldiner is the Forward’s director of digital media. Dave is a veteran journalist who has spent two decades working at newspapers in the United States and Africa. A native New Yorker, Goldiner wrote for the New York Daily News, where he covered some of the biggest stories of our time, including the attacks of September 11, along with thousands of stories of hope and heartbreak. He also studied and worked in Southern Africa and has written for publications in South Africa and Zimbabwe. He holds masters degrees in journalism and public administration from Columbia University. Dave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @davegoldiner