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SA academics pledge support for Israeli academic boycott

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Some 204 South African academics have signed a declaration committing themselves to supporting the rights of the Palestinian people. Expressing concern with “Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land” and “the intolerable human rights violations that it inflicts on all sections of the Palestinian people”, the academics pledge not to accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions; not to act as referees for Israeli institutions; and not to participate in conferences organised or funded by Israeli institutions.

The South African group includes professors from universities across the country, as well as academics from research institutes and think tanks. Their declaration follows a similar commitment by 600 academics in the UK which was issued in October. The South Africans have endorsed that commitment.

The text of the South African declaration and the list of 204 South African academics is below:

A Commitment by South African Scholars to the Rights of Palestinians

We South African scholars, noting the initiative by more than 600 of our academic colleagues in the United Kingdom in solidarity with Palestinians under occupation similarly endorse the commitment on the rights of Palestinians as published in the Guardian newspaper on the 27th October 2015. We also note that on the 4th November more than 120 academics based in Ireland also endorsed this commitment. Details of the commitment can be found at http://www.commitment4p.com

As scholars associated with South African universities, we are also deeply disturbed by Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land, the intolerable human rights violations that it inflicts on all sections of the Palestinian people, and its apparent determination to resist any feasible settlement.

Responding to the appeal from Palestinian civil society, we therefore also declare that we will not:

  • accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions;
  • act as referees in any of their processes;
  • participate in conferences funded, organised or sponsored by them, or otherwise cooperate with them.

We will, however, continue to work with our Israeli colleagues in their individual capacities and consistent with a shared commitment of our Israeli colleagues to the position we have outlined in this statement.

We will maintain this position until the State of Israel complies with international law, and respects universal principles of human rights.

All signatures are in personal capacities.

The signatories are:

  • Prof Steven Friedman (Rhodes University/University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Farid Esack (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Peter Vale (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Peter Alexander (University of Johannesburg)
  • Dr Shahed Nalla (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Salim Vally (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Linda Chisholm (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Leila Kajee (University of Johannesburg)
  • Dr Sikhumbuzo Mngadi (University of Johannesburg)
  • Dr Dirk Postma (University of Johannesburg)
  • Dr Graham Dampier (University of Johannesburg)
  • Dr Mondli Hlatshwayo (University of Johannesburg)
  • Dr Ismail Akhalwaya (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Jane Duncan (University of Johannesburg)
  • Brenden Gray (University of Johannesburg)
  • Dr Shahid Mathee (University of Johannesburg)
  • Dr Ayesha Omar (University of Johannesburg)
  • Dr. Jane Starfield (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Samantha Ashman (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Michael Cross (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Pier Paolo Frassinelli (University of Johannesburg)
  • Mocke J van Veuren (University of Johannesburg)
  • Mohamed Belaid (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Simon Roberts (University of Johannesburg)
  • Dr Carina van Rooyen (University of Johannesburg)
  • Judith Fessehaie (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof David Moore (University of Johannesburg)
  • Robyn Cook, Lecturer (University of Johannesburg)
  • Vanessa-Jean Merckel (University of Johannesburg)
  • Farieda Nazier (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Amira Osman (University of Johannesburg)
  • Tariq Toffa (University of Johannesburg)
  • Rubina Setlhare-Meltor (University of Johannesburg)
  • Razia Mayet (University of Johannesburg)
  • Jessie Turton (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Robert Van Niekerk (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Larry Strelitz (Rhodes University)
  • Shepi Mati (Rhodes University)
  • Paul Wessels (Rhodes University)
  • Dr Vashna Jagarnath (Rhodes University)
  • Professor Heila Lotz-Sisitka (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Kirk Helliker (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Richard Pithouse (Rhodes University)
  • David Fryer (Rhodes University)
  • Dr John Reynolds (Rhodes University)
  • Robert Berold (Rhodes University)
  • Nick Hamer (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Alex Sutherland (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Monty Roodt (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Ruth Simbao (Rhodes University)
  • Dr Nicole Ulrich (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Mala Singh (Rhodes University)
  • Dr Tony Fluxman (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Juanita Praeg (Rhodes University)
  • George Barrett (Rhodes University)
  • Nejm Benessaiah (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Lynette Steenveld (Rhodes University)
  • Dr Irene Calis (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Paul Maylam (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Lucien van der Walt (Rhodes University)
  • Paddy Donnelly (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Michael Neocosmos (Rhodes University)
  • Professor Esther Ramani (Rhodes University)
  • Professor Michael Joseph (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Raymond Suttner (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Catriona Macleod (Rhodes University)
  • Camalita Naicker (Rhodes University)
  • Nimi Hoffmann (Rhodes University)
  • Ulandi Du Plessis (Rhodes University)
  • Nicola Jearey Graham (Rhodes University)
  • Robert Maseko (Rhodes University)
  • Nyx McLean (Rhodes University)
  • Prof Greg Ruiters (University of the Western Cape)
  • Rashid Ahmed (University of the Western Cape)
  • Umesh Bawa (University of the Western Cape)
  • Prof David Sanders (Emeritus) (University of the Western Cape)
  • Prof Catherine Kell (University of the Western Cape)
  • Mahmoud Patel (University of the Western Cape)
  • Prof Andries Du Toit (University of the Western Cape)
  • Dr Gavin Reagon (University of the Western Cape)
  • Dr Heidi Grunebaum (University of the Western Cape)
  • Prof Julian May (University of the Western Cape)
  • Dr Leon Pretorius (University of the Western Cape)
  • Prof Suren Pillay (University of the Western Cape)
  • Prof Shirley Walters, Emeritus (University of the Western Cape)
  • Nadira Omarjee (University of the Western Cape)
  • Prof Yusuf Sayed (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
  • Prof Azeem Badroodien (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
  • Professor Eugene Cairncross (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
  • Dr Zahraa McDonald (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
  • Dr Kelly Gillespie (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Prof Daryl Glaser (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Prof Garth Stevens (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Siphelo Ngcwangu (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Prof Volker Wedekind (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Prof Noor Nieftagodien (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Prof Dilip M. Menon (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Dr. Kaveh Yazdani (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Prof Stephanie Allais (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Dr Melanie Samson (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Prof Vishnu Padayachee (University of Witwatersand)
  • Prof Imraan Valodia (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Prof Shireen Hassim (University of Witwatersrand)
  • Dr Arianna Lissoni (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Gilad Isaacs (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Prof Achille Mbembe (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Kate Joseph (University of the Witwatersrand).
  • Prof Mohamed Seedat (University of South Africa)
  • Samed Bulbulia (University of South Africa)
  • Ghouwa Ismail (University of South Africa)
  • Naiema Taliep (University of South Africa)
  • Prof Jimi Adesina (University of South Africa)
  • Dr Sindile Ngubane-Mokiwa (University of South Africa)
  • Shahnaaz Suffla (South African Medical Research Council)
  • Dr Karen Daniels (South African Medical Research Council)
  • Prof Janet Cherry (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
  • Ivor Baatjes (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
  • Nadeema Musthan (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
  • Sonya Leurquain-Steyn (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
  • Allan Zinn (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
  • Irna Senekal (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
  • Dr Jayanathan Govender (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
  • Prof Denise Zinn (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
  • Prof Sylvan Blignaut (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
  • Dr Lesley Powell (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
  • Lameze Abrahams (University of Cape Town)
  • Dr Salma Ismail (University of Cape Town)
  • Prof Jeff Jawitz (University of Cape Town)
  • Prof Andrew Nash (University of Cape Town)
  • Judy Favish (University of Cape Town)
  • Prof Shamil Jeppie (University of Cape Town)
  • Prof Linda Cooper (University of Cape Town)
  • Professor Anwar Suleman Mall (University of Cape Town)
  • Dr Ruchi Chaturvedi (University of Cape Town)
  • Dr Andrea Brigaglia (University of Cape Town)
  • Prof Leslie London (University of Cape Town)
  • Prof Harry Garuba (University of Cape Town)
  • Prof Sa’diyya Shaikh (University of Cape Town)
  • Professor Lungisile Ntsebeza (University of Cape Town)
  • Prof John Du Gruchy (University of Cape Town)
  • Prof Pam Christie (University of Cape Town)
  • Dr Jonathan Grossman (University of Cape Town)
  • Professor Adam Haupt (University of Cape Town)
  • Prof Herman Wasserman (University of Cape Town)
  • Dr Sharon Groenmeyer (University of Cape Town)
  • Dr. Muhammed S. Moosa (University of Cape Town)
  • Dr Lauren Paremoer (University of Cape Town)
  • Jaamia Galant (University of Cape Town)
  • Dr Alexandra Muller (University of Cape Town)
  • Talia Meer (University of Cape Town)
  • Enver Motala (University of Fort Hare)
  • Brian Ramadiro (University of Fort Hare)
  • Prof Aminur Rahim (University of Fort Hare)
  • Dr Christopher Allsobrook (University of Fort Hare)
  • Dr Kenneth Nhundu (University of Fort Hare)
  • Dr Ogochukwu Iruoma Nzewi (University of Fort Hare)
  • Dr. Kimberley Porteus, University of Fort Hare
  • Dr Petrus DF Strijdom (University of Fort Hare)
  • Derick Nomuh Forbanka (University of Fort Hare)
  • Nasila Selasini Rembe (University of Fort Hare)
  • Dr Niall Vine (University of Fort Hare)
  • Dr Rianna Oelofsen (University of Fort Hare)
  • Dr Clint Le Bruyns (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Prof Rozena Maart (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Prof Patrick Bond (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Johan Pieters (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Dr. Lubna Nadvi (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Prof Gerald West (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Dr Melissa Hansen (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Dr Anne Harley (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Professor Goolam Vahed (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Prof Cheryl Potgieter (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Dr. Fatima Seedat (University of KwaZulu Natal)
  • Tahir Fuzile Sitoto (University of KwaZulu Natal)
  • Prof Rasigan Maharajh (Tshwane University of Technology/Stellenbosch University)
  • Prof John Trimble (Tshwane University of Technology)
  • Na’eem Jeenah (Afro-Middle East Centre, Johannesburg)
  • Professor Aslam Fataar (University of Stellenbosch)
  • Faaiz Gierdien (University of Stellenbosch)
  • Professor Ashraf Kagee (University of Stellenbosch)
  • Prof Doria Daniels (Stellenbosch University)
  • Prof Ronelle Carolissen (Stellenbosch University)
  • Gavin Van Niekerk (Stellenbosch University)
  • Shariefa Daniels (Stellenbosch University)
  • Marthie Momberg (Stellenbosch University)
  • Prof Anthony Naidoo (Stellenbosch University)
  • Prof Usuf Chikte (Stellenbosch University)
  • Prof. Laurie Nathan (University of Pretoria)
  • Quraysha Ismail Sooliman (University of Pretoria)
  • Dr M F Suliman (University of Pretoria)
  • Prof Sean Jacobs (South African scholar abroad, New School for Social Research, United States)
  • Shafinaaz Hassim (independent scholar)
  • Prof Rashid Bhikha (Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb)
  • Prof Andre Keet (University of Free State)
  • Ayesha Mall (Durban University of Technology)
  • Dr Fanie Du Toit (Institute for Justice and Reconciliation)
  • Tiema Haji Muindi (Damelin City Campus)
  • Professor Dhiru V Soni (Regent Business School)
  • Prof Michael Noble (Rhodes University\Southern African Social Policy Research Institute NPC)
  • Dr Wanga Zembe-Mkabile (SA Medical Research Council \Southern African Social Policy Research Institute NPC)
  • Dr Gemma Wright (Rhodes University/University of South Africa/Southern African Social Policy Research Institute NPC)
  • Simmi Dullay (independent scholar)
  • Eddie Cottle (Senior Researcher, Labour Research Service)
  • Dr. A. Rashied Omar (South African Scholar Abroad – University of Notre Dame, USA)

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  1. The singling out of Israel makes no sense especially when Arabs in Israel have equal rights and more rights than any other Arab nation in the Middle East. Furthermore how about some consistency? Boycott Chinese academics because of the occupation of Tibet or how about boycotting Saudi institutions until women get equal rights or simply Syrian institutions to stop mass slaughter of civilians? Thinkers lose credibility when they stop thinking.

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