UCT council calls for more consultation on boycott of Israel

30 March 2019 - 20:30 By DAVE CHAMBERS
The council of the University of Cape Town sent a resolution on an Israeli boycott back to the senate on March 30 2019, saying more work was needed.
The council of the University of Cape Town sent a resolution on an Israeli boycott back to the senate on March 30 2019, saying more work was needed.
Image: MOEKETSI MOTICOE

The University of Cape Town council declined to adopt a resolution imposing an academic boycott on Israel on Saturday.

Council secretary Royston Pillay said a number of issues required clarification before the resolution could go to a vote.

The council sent the resolution back to the UCT senate, which earlier voted in favour of it, asking for "a full assessment of the sustainability impact".

It also said a "more consultative process was necessary before the matter could be considered any further".

The resolution, which has caused bitter debate at UCT and in academia, said that “UCT will not enter into any formal relationships with Israeli academic institutions operating in the occupied Palestinian territories as well as other Israeli academic institutions enabling gross human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories”.

Pillay said the council resolved separately to:

  • Reaffirm its commitment to supporting the rights and freedom of all people as universally recognised under international law;
  • Condemn any acts that violate those rights and freedoms;
  • Condemn the atrocities and human rights violations perpetrated in the occupied Palestinian territories, and elsewhere in the world; and
  • Call on all academics and academic institutions to support this resolution.

The council said it reaffirmed "UCT’s commitment to academic freedom but reserved the right to dissociate itself from academics and academic institutions that supported (directly or indirectly) the violation of human rights and/or enabled the violation of human rights".


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