Thursday, March 14, 2013

An attack on an Israeli Pianist, and those attending his cultural event, may have been prompted by the Wits SRC: Wits University SRC Embroiled in anti-Semitic attack! #IsraelApartheidWeek #Racism #InternationalIncident

An attack on an Israeli Pianist, and those attending his cultural event, may have been prompted by the Wits SRC, who those seemingly involved in the attack, say they were assisting.



As the African National Congress poorly attempts to woo Western Cape Muslim votes away from the Democratic Alliance, the African National Congress run Students Representative Council, has gone on full anti-Israel mode, plastering campus with anti-Israeli posters, and letting Israelis know how unwelcome they are. The SRC likes a certain type of free speech, and has previously allowed gay activist students to draw giant penises touching in a sex act on a 'wall against borders' prominently in front of senate house, and often approves posters about accepting gay people, for 'diversity', ironic given the other causes the SRC support, notably including groups which harshly punish homosexuality, but perhaps walls are the only problem that concerns them. They even had a gay group poster opposing Israel, again, rather ironic given Palestinians kill gays, while Israel is very pro-gay. Politics and all that.

The SRC also tends to support an ANC Youth League agenda. The Wits SRC, has taken to publishing any letters condemning their racist campaign, on the 'Boycott.Divestment.Sanctions.' website. Israel is an occupying power, a status different than Apartheid, though the focus of the 'Israel Apartheid' week, is more on attacking the culture and aspirations of Israelis, than any highlight of anything productive. Disrupting cultural events, stinks of the strategies of the old Apartheid Nationalists against their opponents. What has happened in South Africa, whether xenophobic or racism, is something that should be taken to the equality court, if such things were done even-handedly. A quote below from the New Age newspaper, of one of those involved in this atrocity, suggests that the xenophobic/racist attack was prompted by the Wits SRC, who had tried to have the concert shut down by the university.

This went a step further than forcing pornography on students, as a musical concert by a Jewish pianist from Israel, was attacked by students supporting the Wits SRC campaign, after the Students' Representative Council declared Wits a no-go-zone for Israeli culture and beliefs. Wits has issued an apology of sorts, but whether this means anything is uncertain. Wits has also apologised for lecturers allegedly abusing their positions to coerce students into seemingly sexual relationships with them, and for attempts allegedly by these to harass multiple students.

While the University claims to be investigating this seeming hate behaviour, no sign of punishment of those who have committed this act of hate, has emerged as yet. I shall firstly post the bragging of those who had the meeting disrupted, then the university 'apology', then the victory media dance of the ANC, for their success in attacking another culture. P.s. Kenneth Mgaga is a name previously quoted in The Sowetan newspaper as: 'The ANCYL chairman in Alexandra, Kenneth Mgaga, who is part of the faction that is calling for Sithole to leave, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the hitlist.' (3rd February 2012). Kenneth Mgaga, seemingly previously quoted as: a ranking member of the African National Congress youth wing, is the ONLY Wits student quoted in support of this violation to the right to peaceful assembly.

'PRESS STATEMENT: S. African Students Disrupt (& Cancel) Israeli Performance At Johannesburg University

PRESS STATEMENT: S. African Students Disrupt (& Cancel) Israeli Performance At Johannesburg University

13 March 2013

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 (http://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: http://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: http://tinyurl.com/c9p8755tinyurl.com/c9p8755 )


TASNEEM ESSOP: +27 (0) 71 502 8674 / witspsc@gmail.com
WITS UNIVERSITY PALESTINE SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE (WITS PSC) SPOKESPERSON'

http://www.bdssouthafrica.com/2011/03/press-statement-s-african-students.html



Here is the apology of the University, followed by the smug ANC Youth League victory speech on the matter:

'Wits - University of the Witwatersrand
STATEMENT FROM THE VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG

The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, deeply regrets that a concert held on its campus last night was disrupted by some members of the University community and representatives of external organisations.

In light of this incident, the University takes this opportunity to issue a public apology to all those who attended the concert. The disruption of this event points to intolerance on the part of some members of the University community and goes against the core values espoused by the University. The University is investigating this matter and will take the necessary action based on its policies, processes and procedures.

The University reiterates that the views and opinions expressed by the Students' Representative Council or any other student groups on campus do not represent the official views of the University, nor are they necessarily an accurate reflection of the views of the majority of students, staff and alumni.

Wits University is a leading institution on the African continent renowned for encouraging dialogue and debate on often diverse and conflicting views confronting society. It provides a platform for different constituencies to express their views and opinions through considered debate and intellectual engagement in the spirit of tolerance, respect and openness.

We value the diverse views of all our staff, students and alumni regardless of their race, religion, gender, culture, language, ideology or otherwise, provided that they do not exceed the limitations explicated in our Constitution.

The diversity of people, programmes and ideas at Wits leads to the richness and robustness of the institution. This is indeed one of the greatest qualities of excellent higher education institutions, and one which Wits cherishes.

Prof. Loyiso Nongxa

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

13 March 2013'


'Acting ANC Youth League president Ronald Lamola urged the youth of South Africa to mobilise, “to boycott and fight the Israel apartheid regime which has constantly undermined the rights of the Palestine people”.

Their support came a day after Wits University students disrupted a performance by pianist Yossi Reshef whose concert on the campus was said to have been funded by the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria.

“Reshef’s performance was funded by the Israeli Embassy. It was a clear violation of the cultural boycott of Israel,” politics student Kenneth Mgaga said.

The Wits Palestine Solidarity Committee (Wits PSC) had called for the cancellation of the event

“However, neither the organisers nor the management responded to our SRC’s letters. Thus students embarked on last (Tuesday) night’s protest action, to much success,” Mgaga said.

Reshef was scheduled to play for a full 90 minutes but was interrupted 15 minutes into the performance by protesters.

Wits PSC spokesperson, Tasneem Essop, said yesterday: “The University’s Student Representative Council passed a resolution that calls for the full cultural and academic boycott of Israeli institutions. The resolution was brought to the SRC by the Wits PSC and was unanimously adopted.

“The resolution says the SRC will ‘not participate in any form of cultural or academic collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions and will not provide support to Israeli cultural or academic institutions’.”'
The New Age | 'Campaign intensifies' by IRVINE MAKUYANA at March 13 2013 11:50PM

'Lamola called on the government to recall its ambassador if Israel did not “comply with ending apartheid”.

“This must be done to demonstrate our seriousness in opposition to its fundamental policies of apartheid and colonial occupation.

“As the ANC Youth League, we fully support the boycott of apartheid Israel and call on all South Africans to stop visiting Israel.

We must contribute to the international isolation of this brutal regime until it ends its policies of racial and ethnic discrimination against Palestinian people.”

Lamola said the youth league welcomed the Department of Trade and Industry’s initiative of labelling all products from the occupied Palestine territories, but wanted this to be extended to all Israeli products. “We encourage the same approach in sports, culture, and academic spheres,” he said.

He condemned the visit to Wits University of Israeli pianist Yossi Reshef.

Reshef’s concert was disrupted on Tuesday night. He had to be escorted off the stage when members of pro-Palestinian organisations stormed the hall.'

IOL | '"SA must cut ties with Israel"' by Mogomotsi Magome at March 14 2013 at 12:22pm

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