Palestinian activists are urging South Africa’s University of Cape Town to impose an academic and cultural boycott on Israel - a move now being debated by the school’s Academic Freedom Committee.
“The rationale for this call is clear – Palestinian human rights are violated by Israel on a daily basis with the direct and indirect support from Israeli universities… By implementing an academic boycott, UCT takes a principled position in the defense of human rights and academic freedom,” wrote members of the university’s Palestine Solidarity Forum.
The committee is now considering the motion, but in order for it to take effect, the measure would have to be approved by the university administration. South Africa’s Board of Jewish Deputies and Jewish students’ association have voiced their opposition to an academic and cultural boycott from the school against Israel.
South Africa has increasingly been a forum for debating the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel - with its ruling African National Congress party recently having put into its platform a commitment to downgrading diplomatic relations with Israel.