Wednesday, March 4, 2015

IAW 2015 Tuks

Muslim Students’ Association
University of Pretoria
Lynwood Road
South Africa

                                                            04 March 2015

Press Statement: Israeli-Palestine Dialogue at the Univeristy of Pretoria

Earlier today the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) at the University of Pretoria (Tuks) were invited to participate in a ‘dialogue’ pertaining to the Israel-Palestine conflict, hosted by the Tuks Student Representative Council (SRC) which will be taking place tomorrow (05 March 2015). We have decided to decline this invitation on the following grounds:

1.       We are not inclined to speak at an event that is supposed to be a dialogue, yet bears a logo associated with the South African Union of Jewish Students, a group inspired by travels to Israel and Occupied Palestine:

2.       This initiative, in the same week as IAW, makes it difficult for activists to participate in the programme at such short notice. We welcome the opportunity to engage but believe that a more reasonable time frame should be allocated to invited speakers. We are willing to participate in the next two weeks once IAW activities are concluded. We also find it disturbing that we received minimal information and important aspects, such as the identity of the chairperson and our opponents, werecc not provided to us.

3.        What concerns us is the organisational bias involved? Is it just coincidental that the main organiser, from the SRC, of this event (seemingly from this poster, and from the SAJR report) is someone who has just returned from a Zionist sponsored trip to 'Israel, Ramallah and Bethlehem'? We wonder whether he had to wait at Qalandiya checkpoint or pass through the cattle cage that Palestinians do?

4.       The bottom line is that the occupation is illegal, the settlements are illegal and Israel is in violation of International Law. There are too many violations in fact to cite here, but this might be of assistance:

5.      Is Israel an apartheid state? This might help to answer your question from a South African perspective:  and
HSRC (2009) “Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid? A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under International law:

6.         Finally, as a reaffirmation of our willingness to engage, after the date of IAW has passed, we will gladly engage in ‘dialogue’ with both factions of the panel (Pro-Israel and Pro-Neutrality), and we will provide adequte notice of such an intention.

We look forward to such an engagement in the future.

Statement issued by the Muslim Student’s Association (Tuks).

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