Over two years ago in April 2011, the University of Johannesburg’s senate actually terminated its institutional relationship with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University.
“It behooves South Africans, erstwhile beneficiaries of generous international support, to stand up and be counted among those contributing actively to the cause of freedom and justice…we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.
The student statement focuses on the disastrous effects the Occupation has on Palestinian students, as they face poverty, harassment and humiliation because of Israeli policies and actions.
For example, in 2003 Israel closed two Palestinian universities and in 2009, during its attacks on Gaza, bombed more than 60 primary and secondary schools. As well, the students state that the Israeli blockade on Gaza currently has direct effects on their ability to study because Gaza’s electricity supply is controlled by Israel and is often shut down for several hours most days, making it sometimes impossible to study. The blockade also means that supplies like paper, books and desks sometimes don’t even reach students.