Shalom Life | October 17, 2015

Durban University Students: Jews Should Deregister

South African Jews shocked after the University's student council urged Jews who don't support Palestine to deregister

By: Daniel Koren

Published: February 12th, 2015 in News » World

Photo: Durban University of Technology


This is what it's come down to.

More horrendous than any BDS measure could prove to be, more anti-Semitic than any form of anti-Jewish hatred, from spraypainted swastikas to spreading propaganda, that we've seen on campus recently - and unfortunately, there's been quite a bit - this new measure suggested by the Students Representative Council at Durban University of Technology in South Africa is the lowest case of cruel, unjustified, anti-Israel, and anti-Jewish hatred.

Yesterday, the international Jewish community was enraged, and shocked, after learning that both the SRC and the school's Progressive Youth Alliance are looking to expel its university of Jews, but not just any kind of Jew: only those who support Israel.

In a statement unveiled by SRC Secretary Mqondisi Duma, “As the SRC, we had a meeting and analysed international politics. We took the decision that Jewish students, especially those who do not support the Palestinian struggle, should deregister.”

This means Jewish students who support the State of Israel, or receive funding from Israel, should be kicked out of the university, or take it upon themselves to make haste, and leave the South African campus.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Ahmed Bawa, since responded to Duma's comments, saying their demand is “totally preposterous, unjust, unfair, unreasonable and unconstitutional”, adding that Durban University is not looking to “discriminate against any person based on their race, religion, colour, ethnicity, sexual orientation or political affiliation”.

Chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, Mary Kluk, added that she was “appalled” by the student council's behaviour, and that such demands could even be made in place of academia.

Jewish organizations were naturally mortified, with the Council of Kwa-Zulu Natal Jewry, the regional Jewish umbrella body, calling it "blatantly anti-Semitic, and the singling out of any student for discrimination based solely on their religion, race, gender or political affiliation goes against the values and principles of a democratic South Africa proudly enshrined in our Constitution. It is especially saddening that such a call could be made by youth organizations in our country which has overcome a dark history of racial segregation and oppression and sacrificed much to achieve freedom, equality and human rights for all.”

In the words of Natan Pollack, the National Chairman of the South Africa Union of Jewish Students, the whole incident is really just deplorable.

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