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Jewish learner lodges complaint with HRC

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The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is now investigating alleged victimization of a King David High School pupil for his views on Gaza. This follows a recent, but unrelated, incident that caused an online outcry after Jewish pupil Joshua Broomberg was seen on social media posing in a keffiyeh with his fellow debate team members. Broomberg is the deputy head boy of King David Victory Park. He has since apologized for his views on the recent conflict between Israel and Palestine.

But the second, unnamed, youth has allegedly been bullied and coerced into giving up certain positions at school based on his views. Eyewitness News reported the family’s lawyer saying the first incident took place a year ago. The boy was accused of hating Israel, barred from certain privileges and subsequently resigned from his student leader position.

“The learner alleges that his rights were violated after expressing his views on [Israel-Palestine] on Facebook. As the Human Rights Commission we are currently investigating the matter; we’ll be looking into issues around the rights to equality, human dignity, freedom of religion and opinion as well as freedom of expression,” said Isaac Mangena of the SAHRC.

Mangena said the next step will be for the SAHRC to contact the learner, his school as well as his parents during the ongoing investigation.

“We cannot release anything right now, since our investigation just started, but we will be in contact with everyone involved and we’ll be moving on from there.”

Mangena also said that over the last few weeks this has been the first complaint of its kind from a Jewish majority school during the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. VOC (Andriques Che Petersen)

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