South African university students call to expel Jews

South African university’s student council demands that the school kick out Jewish students, especially those who support Israel.

There is no place for Jews at Durban University of Technology, according to the school’s student representative council. University officials and Jewish community leaders denounced the decision.

Photo: virtualjerusalem.com

Photo: virtualjerusalem.com

“As the SRC, we had a meeting and analysed international politics. We took the decision that Jewish students, especially those who do not support the Palestinian struggle, should deregister,” said the council’s secretary, Mqondisi Duma, to the Daily News. The demand was forwarded to university management.

University vice-chancellor Ahmed Bawa declared that the call for Jews to leave was “totally unacceptable.” Natan Pollack, national chairman of the South African Union of Jewish Students, responded, “To discriminate against people because of their religious and political standpoint goes against freedom of speech.” Mary Kluk, chairwoman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies was “appalled” that such a demand could be made in an academic institution.

Jewish Community Declines

Durban’s long-standing Jewish community has rapidly dwindled in recent years. The first Jew arrived to Durban in 1825, and the first congregation was founded in 1833. The community numbered 7,500 in the 1970s, but has shrunk to only 2,000 members at present. In response to demographic changes, the Jewish community decided to consolidate its resources and relocate to the Durban suburb of Izinga.

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Durban was also home to the infamous 2001 World Conference Against Racism, which drafted a declaration equating Zionism with racism and including language to minimize the Holocaust.

 Staff