The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has welcomed the University of Cape Town Senate’s vote against a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, saying this sends ‘a resounding message of their commitment to academic freedom’.
The SAJBD said in a statement that 68% of the Senate voted against a boycott.
‘They have loudly voiced their opposition to the three-year attempt to introduce an academic boycott against Israel.
‘Our belief is that this three-year obsession by a narrow group of UCT academics has attempted to hijack the university’s decision-making forums for an extended time. This agenda endeavoured to dominate discussions at Senate and Council meetings, taking the University’s focus away from key issues of concern to UCT and our country.’
The SAJBD added that it hoped, ‘now that the important decision has been taken’, that UCT would focus on continuing to build and strengthen itself as an ‘important South African tertiary institution’.
It said it was ‘encouraged that UCT academics have taken a stance against this (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) BDS-inspired resolution which would have achieved little to contribute to peace-building in the region and have chosen rather to support engagement processes with a view to peace building’.
[Picture: Adrian Frith, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=845804]