SOUTH AFRICA: Palestinian students salute Wits comrades

Johannesburg- Wits University- South Africa January 2005 069To our comrades: An open letter in support of the courageous 11 Witwatersrand University students

Besieged Gaza,

Palestine

16 August 2013

We, Palestinian students of the besieged Gaza Strip, wish to send you our sincere and full support with your firm stand of protesting an Israeli-Embassy-funded concert at your campus on March 12, 2013.

Recalling your resolute determination resulting, last September, in getting the (WITS) Student Representative Council (SRC) to adopt a full academic and cultural boycott of Israel in response to our call for boycott from Palestinian civil society in 2005, the persistence of your vibrant and highly significant actions fill us with deep pride. For you know what it takes to defeat a decades-long apartheid regime.

Today, we salute your undaunted stance against the unfair charges and collaborative punitive processes initiated by Wits University management in this shameful trial conforming to pressures from Israeli lobbies and financial blackmail.

By supporting Palestinian rights, resisting Israeli apartheid and heeding actions of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, you are standing on the right side of history, just as students played a huge role in boycotting South Africa’s ugly and similarly racist apartheid regime until it fell in 1994. Our spirits have been raised by your courageous defense of justice and opposition to the affluently powerful supporters of Israel whose actions are morally reprehensible, using finance and status to whitewash their ever-worsening apartheid policies.

These are crucial times as Israel intensifies its brutal policies of oppression, colonization and apartheid against us, the indigenous population in historic Palestine, as well as viciously targeting and trying to silence international conscientious activists like you. We are sure you have heard of the latest flagrant decision of the University of Michigan disinviting renowned writer and BDS-activist Alice Walker. She and you have the right to speak truth against apartheid, bigotry, racism and oppression. No one has the right to stop you from doing so especially universities, which should not violate and/or contradict their most important principle: freedom of thought and expression, under any pressure or threat of losing short-term funds!

To you brave protesters against Israel’s mass murder and apartheid policies, you have now joined many other Palestinians and South Africans who suffered a similar fate for standing on the right side of history before many others had begun to do so. We call on civil society around the world to enforce and accelerate the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement of Israel’s apartheid regime, saying no to the Israeli siege, no to genocide with impunity, no to apartheid and no to severe punishment of the people of the world who demonstrate against these crimes; it is the silent majority who are culpable in the face of such crimes and oppression we face daily.

We whole-heartedly believe that your/our unyielding resolve will triumph!

In spirit and solidarity with you,

Palestine’s Students Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI)

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