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Seven Israeli academics have withdrawn from a University of Stellenbosch conference in December following pressure from Palestinian solidarity groups.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conference organising committee, said in a letter published on the conference website that the Israeli academics had withdrawn from the conference.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.