Press statement issued by SAJBD (3 March 2017)
IAW Press Statement: Vitriol and hate driven by IAW and the BDS should be condemned by all corners of South African society
It would seem that South African citizens are set to endure yet another round of the divisive and pointless propaganda fest known as “Israel Apartheid Week” (IAW). Starting this Monday, IAW will devote an entire week to the single task of demonising and delegitimising the State of Israel by pushing the false analogy between apartheid South Africa and Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.
IAW has no impact in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict! Instead, its only noteworthy ‘accomplishment’ has been to set off increased incidences of antisemitism and fascist behaviour and the perennial neglect of genuine socio-economic challenges facing many South Africans, in pursuit of this ill-advised IAW campaign of hate. It is during this week that Jewish students on campus can expect to be verbally, and sometimes physically, attacked and to be shouted down when seeking to put forward a different view.
Last year, a Jewish religious gathering was surrounded by a jeering mob, who disrupted the session and abused and threatened the students. The year before, an address by Palestinian guest Bassem Eid, who portrayed a different view to those held by the IAW organisers, had to be discontinued after protestors disrupted it. Eid was called a liar and a sell-out and continued to be threatened and abused even as he was making his way to the vehicle in which he was travelling. The list continues - this vitriol and hate driven by IAW and its organisers, the BDS, should be condemned by all corners of South African society.
The seemingly intractable Israeli – Palestinian conflict is one that touches the hearts of all. The suffering of the Palestinians and security fears of the Israelis are real issues that need to be addressed. It is a complex dispute in which both sides have legitimate claims. Throughout the week, IAW hope to gain legitimacy for their cause by inviting high-profile people to their events and using hate-filled and racist tactics (who can forget the black mannequin they hanged at Wits campus last year?) to attract media attention.
In no way does this detract from the lies, half-truths and distortions they use to promote their single and distorted message. During this week, the SA Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) will be hosting a number of Israeli students of different ethnic and religious backgrounds who will be available to provide a more nuanced view on the conflict.