Please find below the press release issued on behalf of the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) concerning Israel Apartheid Week 2019:
This Monday, the annual hate-fest known as “Israel Apartheid Week (IAW)” will be coming to town. This week is simply an uninformed and untrue political vendetta with the aim of demonising and delegitimizing Israel. During previous IAW campaigns run by BDS and the Palestinian Solidarity Committee (PSC) on South African university campuses we have seen violence, incitement, hate speech, and Nazi salutes all of which result in ugly confrontations between South Africans causing division while discouraging any real dialogue. This year, during IAW, the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) is campaigning against inciteful rhetoric and hate speech. We want to have productive conversations about the Israeli – Palestinian conflict because we believe that South Africans can play an important role in encouraging real dialogue and negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. In previous years we have attempted to engage positively on campuses with all people but year after year we have been met with hostility, insults and intimidation from the PSC and their supporters. Before we can have real conversations about the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, the PSC and their supporters to need to stop the incitement on campuses. During this week, to combat hate speech and encourage positive discussions and unity, SAUJS is hosting a unity event, various speakers and cultural food demonstrations.
Freedom of speech is the basis of democracy, and this week it is under attack on our university campuses. As proud South Africans, SAUJS will stand strong in defence of freedom of speech and association. We will defend Jewish students on campus against the Anti-Semitism which is thinly-veiled as Anti-Zionism. We will keep fighting for tolerance, co-existence and a peaceful solution to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. There is #NoPlaceForHate on our campuses.
We will be trying to use this ugly week for a constructive purpose, and on campus we will be collecting vitally needed donations and relief for the victims of the horrific cyclone in Mozambique, which we will send over next week. We urge everyone to come out and contribute to this initiative.
Issued on behalf of the South African Union of Jewish Students.