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South African University Students Seek To Expel Jews

The student government at the Durban University of Technology in South Africa has made a frightful demand that university administrators expel all Jewish students, according to the Daily News (South Africa).

A representative of the Student Representative Council, Mqondisi Duma, said the demand was made after the body “analyzed international politics.”

“We took the decision that Jewish students, especially those who do not support the Palestinian struggle, should deregister,” said Duma. The SRC’s demand was made in conjunction with the school’s Progressive Youth Alliance.

The school’s top officials have already rejected the demand, with Vice Chancellor Ahmed Bawa labeling it “totally unacceptable.”

“This [proposal] was outrageous, preposterous and a deep violation of our National Constitution and every human rights principle,” Bawa said in an official statement released by the university. “No student at DUT will be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, gender, political affiliation or sexual orientation.”

South Africa has the largest Jewish population in Africa, with about 70,000 Jews, and has seen its fair share of anti-Semitic outbursts. In 2009, deputy foreign minister Fatima Hajaig refused to apologize after remarking that “control of America, just like the control of most western countries, is in the hands of Jewish money.”

The recent resolution also isn’t the first time that Durban has been at the center of severe anti-Israel sentiment.

In 2001, the city hosted the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, which quickly turned into a series of harsh condemnations of alleged Israeli war crimes and violations of international law. Since the conference, the phrase “Durban strategy” has been used to describe efforts to delegitimize Israel by arguing it is an apartheid regime similar to pre-90s South Africa. The “Durban strategy” has in turn helped drive campaigns around the world that seek to divest from Israel.

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