SA Jewry to protest Minister Naledi Pandor’s call for activism on University campuses

SA Jewry to protest Minister Naledi Pandor’s call for activism on University campuses

Let’s be clear: Minister Naledi Pandor’s call for “intensified university activism against Israel” is in reality a call for South African students to emulate the global campaign of incitement against Jewish students.

Indeed, the campus `activism’ that she idolises, and is desperate to import to South Africa, has resulted in Jewish students across campuses being violently attacked, verbally abused, excluded, and barred from their own universities and subjected to blatant antisemitism.

We remind Minister Pandor that our constitution clearly states that SA belongs to all who live in it, and that “everyone has the right to conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion” (15.1). As a government minister, Pandor should uphold these fundamental rights. Targeting students for their political views is unconscionable.

Furthermore, universities should be fostering free, diverse, and independent thought, not providing spaces for government leaders to bully students into conforming to the ruling party’s political agenda. Students at South African Universities have so many real challenges with students sleeping in libraries, limited access to food and water, the failure and corruption of NSFAS and being held hostage to their student debt. In addition, we are weeks away from the June Exam period. Surely calls for the eruptions of our campuses is in no one’s interests except for a desperate ANC Government?

And yet, the minister is calling for students to choose activism over dialogue, violence over education and intimidation over freedom of thought.

Tomorrow morning (Friday 10 May), the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, together with the SA Union of Jewish Students will be protesting outside the Sandton Convention Centre where the Minister Pandor will be keynote speaker at the unfortunately named`Global anti-Israel Conference.

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