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SAZF welcomes repudiation of UCT Academic Boycott against Israel

Posted Nov 25, 2019

SAZF welcomes repudiation of UCT Academic Boycott against Israel

The South African Zionist Federation commends the University of Cape Town Senate for firmly rejecting a motion to boycott Israeli academic institutions. We thank the Senate for standing up to this campaign of hate and asserting the importance of academic freedom over narrow political agendas. 

The academic boycott campaign against Israel was driven by the antisemitic BDS movement and loomed over the University for almost three years. Its goal was to single out and isolate the one and only Jewish state for unfair sanction and discrimination. The campaign consumed a disproportionate amount of airtime at the Academic Freedom Committee, Senate and Council at the expense of more relevant and important issues for UCT. Its repudiation sends a strong message that freedom of academic enquiry without limitation is essential for academic freedom to thrive. Academics, students and faculty at UCT are free to engage with Israeli academia, or that of any country they so choose, without restriction. 

Israel’s academic institutions produce world-leading innovation, research and technology. They are also models of coexistence, engagement and dialogue that bring together students and academics of different religions, races and political opinions. South Africa’s universities have the potential to partner with these top ranking institutions to the indisputable benefit of our country.  

The University of Cape Town can now move forward with its reputation intact. We wish to thank all the efforts of those who played a role in this pivotal fight for academic freedom at UCT.


Issued by: Rowan Polovin
National Chairman South African Zionist Federation