Seven Israeli academics withdraw from South Africa conference

Seven Israeli academics have withdrawn from a University of Stellenbosch conference in December following pressure from Palestinian solidarity groups.

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, chair of the conference organising committee, said in a letter published on the conference website that the Israeli academics had withdrawn from the conference.

The Recognition Reparation and Reconciliation: The light and shadow of historical trauma will bring together hundreds of delegates between 5-9 December and will feature distinguished speakers like Homi Bhabha, Achille Mbembe, and Albie Sachs.

Last week, several Palestinian solidarity organisations had urged conference organisers to rescind their invitations. In a letter, endorsed by the Palestinian Solidarity Committee (PSC), BDS-SA, Media Review Network and others, activists called on “conference organisers, speakers, participants and sponsors to make a public statement in unequivocal support of the Palestinian call for the academic and cultural boycott of apartheid Israel”. They also noted an absence of authentic Palestinian representation as well.

4 Comments
  1. Bob says

    So by preventing some academics who might have some influence amongst the hardliners in Israel from attending a peace conference you are encouraging a peace? All you’re doing is stoking the lager mentality that has taken root in Israel!
    They will just withdraw and double up on defensiveness, You’re a braindead moron if you think the outcome could be otherwise!

  2. Leo says

    At least report the true story. The Israeli team (including Palestinian partners) were “disinvited” to actively participate.

  3. Eddie says

    Bob Says, you are speculating. Each of the academics records were investigated and none of them have distanced themselves from harliners in Israel. Israel makes academic progress a nightmare for Palestinians while it wants to trot around the globe in the name of academic freedom.

    1. Bob says

      I never said that they were non-hardliners, I said that they *MIGHT* have the ear of hardliners in their government which is a whole lot more than anyone else at this conference will have.
      “No-platforming” and “academic boycotts” are nothing more than common censorship rebranded to sound palatable.

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