South African Students Disrupt Israeli Concert at WITS University

LazyLion

King of de Jungle
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Issued by: BDS Workinggroup

Attention: News Editors

For immediate release:

S. AFRICAN STUDENTS DISRUPT (& CANCEL) ISRAELI PERFORMANCE AT JOHANNESBURG UNIVERSITY

Last night, 15 minutes into what was going to be a 90-minute scheduled concert by Israel's Yossi Reshef, Wits University students in Johannesburg stormed the concert venue, disrupted Reshef's performance and as a result forced the organizers to cancel the event. The cancellation was celebrated by the protesting students as a "cultural boycott of Israel success".

Kenneth Mgaga, a politics student who was present at the protest, explains: "The Reshef performance, which was funded by the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria, was a clear violation of the cultural boycott of Israel. In weeks prior to the concert, our Student Representative Council (SRC), had repeatedly raised this concern with the organizers as well as relevant university authorities. However, neither the organizers nor the University Management responded to our SRC's letters. Thus students embarked on last night's protest action, to much success."

In August 2012, the Wits University Student Representative Council (Wits SRC) became the first South African SRC to adopt a full academic and cultural boycott of Israel (see:

www.bdssouthafrica.com/2011/08/university-of-witwatersrand-student.html).

Reshef's one-week visit to South Africa coincides with the 9th international Israeli Apartheid Week campaign (tinyurl.com/ao2bgyrtinyurl.com/ao2bgyr) currently underway at South African campuses. On Monday night, Reshef's performance was protested by over 45 Rhodes University academics and students in the Grahamstown.

Mgaga further comments: "The hosting of Reshef in South Africa is a direct attempt to undermine the Israeli Apartheid Week campaign. Last year the Israeli government sent Israeli "Public Relation envoys" to our campuses during Israeli Apartheid Week to 'educate' us (see: tinyurl.com/ch4wlrm). This year they've decided on a different approach, either way, we stand firm in our solidarity with the Palestinians against Israel and its apartheid policies."

Various calls have been made for the protest and boycott of Reshef, including one by the Youth League of the African National Congress (ANC).

Abner Mosase, the International Relations Secretary of the ANC Youth League said in a statement: "[W]e condemn the coming of the Israeli pianist Yossi Reshef at Wits University and other parts of the country who is clearly sponsored by the Israeli government. We call on all students to boycott the concert as it only seeks to normalise apartheid Israel. No one must be seen singing with [Israeli] apartheid, particularly in South Africa where we have seen what apartheid policies can do." (Find the full ANC YL statement here: tinyurl.com/c9p8755tinyurl.com/c9p8755)

TASNEEM ESSOP: +27 (0) 71 502 8674 / witspsc@gmail.com

WITS UNIVERSITY PALESTINE SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE (WITS PSC) SPOKESPERSON*


Source : Ends /avb
Date : 13 Mar 2013 09:15
 

daveza

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As much as I hold no candle for Israel, a cultural boycott is unacceptable.

The arts are never to be used for political agendas.
 

Shake&Bake

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Ok - just thought it weird that the person's details would be thrown about like that for general consumption by the public.
 
F

Fudzy

Guest
That is pretty lame. What were they hoping to achieve? Whoever was there would have bought the tickets already.
 

Shake&Bake

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As much as I hold no candle for Israel, a cultural boycott is unacceptable.

The arts are never to be used for political agendas.
Ok - am I the only one being bit slow here... (from my viewpoint anyway)
You say that a cultural boycott is unacceptable, but the arts must not be used for political agendas.

But (and this is according to the SRC dude quoted in the article) that the Israeli embassy sponsored this concert in lieu of Israel Apartheid Week (or whatever its called)
So has the Israeli embassy not used this occasion to use the arts for political motives - or rather to spit on apartheid and what they're doing to the Palestinians?
And its wrong to have a little protest about it?

Israel has been fscking over the people in Gaza for so long - look both sides are doing the screwing - but Israel does a greater job of fscking them over.
This is in my convoluted opinion anyway.

So - I can actually get behind this little disruption - its a stance I can sympathise with, just on this one thing though.

No one got hurt - tis all good.
 
F

Fudzy

Guest
Ok - am I the only one being bit slow here... (from my viewpoint anyway)
You say that a cultural boycott is unacceptable, but the arts must not be used for political agendas.

But (and this is according to the SRC dude quoted in the article) that the Israeli embassy sponsored this concert in lieu of Israel Apartheid Week (or whatever its called)
So has the Israeli embassy not used this occasion to use the arts for political motives - or rather to spit on apartheid and what they're doing to the Palestinians?
And its wrong to have a little protest about it?

Israel has been fscking over the people in Gaza for so long - look both sides are doing the screwing - but Israel does a greater job of fscking them over.
This is in my convoluted opinion anyway.

So - I can actually get behind this little disruption - its a stance I can sympathise with, just on this one thing though.

No one got hurt - tis all good.
Good points I question which was really organised first though.
 

Nerfherder

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That is pretty lame. What were they hoping to achieve? Whoever was there would have bought the tickets already.
Ah but you see, these people know better than us and they get to decide who and what we get to watch.

They get to think for us. All we have to do is be tolerant of them
 

Shake&Bake

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Good points I question which was really organised first though.
Kenneth Mgaga, a politics student who was present at the protest, explains: "The Reshef performance, which was funded by the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria, was a clear violation of the cultural boycott of Israel. In weeks prior to the concert, our Student Representative Council (SRC), had repeatedly raised this concern with the organizers as well as relevant university authorities. However, neither the organizers nor the University Management responded to our SRC's letters. Thus students embarked on last night's protest action, to much success."
Concert 1st then?
 

Datura

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Wow, they really changed the world. Good on you guys.
 

Shake&Bake

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Ah but you see, these people know better than us and they get to decide who and what we get to watch.

They get to think for us. All we have to do is be tolerant of them
It's the resolution that the SRC, student body made, the majority spoke, the majority were disregarded, the majority reacted - sound familiar? :rolleyes:

I'm being dramatic to a degree yes - but facts and rules undertaken by the University speak for themselves.
Were you there for the show?
 

LazyLion

King of de Jungle
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The SRC do not run the University. They have no right to disrupt proceedings on campus any more than a tresspasser from off the street would.
 
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