ben gurion university building 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The University of Johannesburg is considering cutting academic ties with Ben-Gurion University in protest against the Beersheba school’s alleged association with Palestinian human rights abuses.
An “extraordinary” meeting of the South African university’s senate debated the matter last week, the Mail & Guardian reported.
The University of Johannesburg’s partnership with BGU dates from August, when the schools signed an academic cooperation and staff exchange agreement relating to water purification and biotechnology research.
In October, 52 UJ academic staff members signed a petition opposing the partnership. It states in part: “The Palestinian people are currently victims of an Israeli occupation, which violates their human rights as well as international law. Their plight has been repeatedly compared with that of black South Africans under apartheid.”
Prof. Steven Friedman presented the pro-boycott argument in the senate
on behalf of the petitioners. “We are not asking UJ to join a boycott
campaign against Israel,” said Friedman, who is the director of the
joint UJ-Rhodes University Centre for the Study of Democracy. “But we
are asking them not to sign agreements with institutions which
collaborate with governments that commit human rights violations,” he
told the Mail & Guardian.
The University of Johannesburg came
into existence on January 1, 2005, as the result of a merger between
the Technikon Witwatersrand and the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU).
Prior to the merger, the Daveyton and Soweto campuses of the former
Vista University had been incorporated into RAU.
of Johannesburg has more than 48,000 full-time students and 2,700
permanent staff, making it the largest residential university in South
A BGU spokesman on Sunday night called the proposed move
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