CAPE TOWN —The University of Cape Town Council, which seemed set to endorse a resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israel, has finally decided not to vote on it. Instead, it sent the proposal back to the University Senate.
The resolution, brought forward to the University of Capte Town Council following a two-year campaign by the Palestine Solidarity Forum (PSF), calls on the University ‘’not to enter into any formal relationships with Israel academic institutions operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as well as other Israeli academic institutions enbaling gross human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.’’
The Council did not adopt this resolution. ‘’It was the view of the Council that a number of issues required clarifications, including a full assessment of the sustainability impact of the Senate resolution, and a more consultative process was necessary before the matter could be considered any further. Counci resolved to refer the matter back to the Senate.,’’ it said in a communique.
The South African Jewish community, which had urged the UCT Council to reject the resolution, applauded the decision.
Rael Kaimowitz, chairperson of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies’ Cape council, said: “In voting in favour of boycotting its counterparts in Israel, the UCT senate has betrayed the university’s long and honourable record of upholding the values of academic freedom, even during the difficult years of the apartheid era.
“The senate decision is also grossly discriminatory. Why should UCT have chosen to single out Israeli universities when there are territorial disputes around the world, and countries with appalling human rights records about whom nothing is said?