Annual rivalry moved online big time in 2016

  • IAW16
The annual tussle between Israel’s antagonists and protagonists during Israel Apartheid Week was very much an online event this week, largely ignored by the mainstream media and, for the first two days at least, resoundingly won by the Jewish students of SAUJS and their ever-supportive friends from DEISI. And a great deal of support from the community at large. Here are the highlights and low-lights of Tuesday and Wednesday as well as LINKS TO ALL STORIES POSTED ON SAJR
by ANT KATZ | Mar 09, 2016

The annual battle over Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) - where opposing sides, the SA Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) leading Israel Awareness Week and the US-based NGO Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (Israel) in South Africa (BDS-SA) leading Israel Apartheid Week - was again “fought” on South African university campuses this week.

Despite the heckling on the ground, and the tussle between the “warring” parties for victory in the press and on social media, remarkably few incidents of violence have been reported.

IAW16On Monday there was one incident that could have turned ugly on the UCT campus in Cape Town after an Israeli Druze speaker, Riad Hassoun, together with a group of SAUJS students, were verbally harassed after Hassoun spoke there.

On Tuesday (see video on on the Wits campus - marring an otherwise peaceful day - while SAUJS representatives were putting up posters from their #SeeIsraelForYourself campaign, they were accosted by BDS supporters who had been following them and pulling the posters down.

 Not satisfied with their “guerrilla” efforts, the BDS supporters then tried to steal and run off with the posters.

One of the SAUJS students cleverly put the posters down on the ground and lay on top of them so that the BDS supporters could not grab them. The latter resorted to trying to destroy all the posters by tearing as much as they could off of each, while the second SAUJS supporter shot the video. Restraint on the part of SAUJS was all that saved it from becoming a violent incident.

Some of the other more noteworthy events from campuses around South Africa include:

Some of Tuesday's highlights included:

  • iaw16b Prof Mohammed DajaniProfessor Mohammed Dajani (PICTURED LEFT) - the well-known Palestinian former tutor at Al Quds University who left his post last June after months of intimidation over a field trip he had organised to Auschwitz, spoke on the Wits library lawns on Tuesday evening. “We had a great turnout,” SAUJS National Chairman Dani Hovsha told Jewish Report Online on Wednesday.
  • The DailyVox website, which had been sponsored for the week by Dubai-based 24-hour news channel AlJazeera (as IAW was largely ignored by the mainstream media), fell foul of a group of concerned Israel Awareness Week  supporters who bought all the ad space on DailyVox’s home page on Tuesday. (By Wednesday morning, the home page was advert-free and the website explained on their Twitter site why they had taken this action - blaming it on “Zionist interference”.)
  • Black students were upset by the fact that when BDS chose to hang two mannequins on the campus - one on a make-shift gallows and one from a tree (pictured) - they had chosen to use black mannequins. In the morning, "SAUJS were on that one like a rash," says Hovsha, placing signs on the hung figures which read: “In Palestine, if you sell land to a Jew you can be hanged!” By the afternoon the infuriated group of black students had ripped them down.

Some of Wednesday’s scheduled events:

  • The leadership and members of the virulently pro-Zionist Lemba Christian Church were slated to attend the Wits event to show their solidarity.
  • Winton Stewart who runs campus outreach programmes in the US was scheduled to talk at Wits.
  • One of the star attractions for the BDS side at Wits on Wednesday was a talk by Doron Isaacs
  • Also speaking for SAUJS at Wits on Wednesday was the Israeli Druze speaker, Riad Hassoun, who had been almost accosted at UCT on Monday.
  • No new incidents of unrest were reported from any campuses at the time of the print edition of Jewish Report going to press on Wednesday afternoon.

Users can follow continuing coverage on the website daily, or as they happen.  See images below the following links:

Other stories around the campus event of 2016:

Don’t miss this one - The video that is the subject of a Wits enquiry after BDS students were nailed on video destroying SAUJS’ posters and swearing that they would not allow any Zionist material on campus. With luck, Wits management will decide that these two culprits are not allowed on campus! Also read about the SAUJS media campaign which has won the day for them.

Read about days two and three of the annual IAW rivalry which moved online big time in 2016 and see some of the elements of the campaign on all of these stories.

In Rolene Marks'  new blog posted on JR Online on Tuesday, titled: Special salute: Israel’s sisters are doing it for themselves! – Rolene says: “Naturally, women’s rights are a favourite target for those wishing to paint Israel as a discriminatory, pariah state.” Anyone who knows Rolene, an expat South African communications expert and writer who, with her husband and kids, made aliyah several years ago, will tell you that, outside of family, she has two great passions: Israeli rights and women’s rights. Which explains one of her most commonly-used mantras: “We deserve a salute – and a fabulous pair of shoes!”

In a letter to BDS, Zionist Federation Chairman Ben Swartz writes a tongue-in-cheek letter thanking BDS for helping Israel and the world to promote the Zionist cause, and castigating them for what they are not helping to do. If you don't have a good laugh at Thank you, BDS, for making us stronger, you must be a member of BDS! But, whether you laugh or cry at what Ben has to say to BDS, you will come out on the other side of it far better informed about the anti-Israel lobby group's activities.

In South African Christian Zionist advocate Willie Patterson’s IAW ‘silly season’ in full swing globally he writes: “The annual worldwide BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign is in full swing during the month of March.” Patterson, an ardent Christian Zionist, points out that the various programs are cleverly designed “in an effort to brand Israel as an Apartheid state.”

Although some individuals in the ANC support the BDS movement, says Patterson, the SA government refrains from publicly supporting them. In fact, the government never stopped trade relations with Israel. This statement, while true, is somewhat reduced by Board slams ANC over support for IAW, BDS posted on this website yesterday.

Last week saw BDS winning Round #1 when they hijacked the Library Lawns and started IAW a week early. Granted, Wits did try to stop it (read Wits management adopt tough stand on BDS and Stand-off after 'BDS-inspired Wits subterfuge’ published on JR Online last week) – but management’s efforts to meet their promises turned out to be fruitless and the demonstration continued unabated.

Readers can follow our continuing coverage on the website:

While Jewish Report has contacts on all the major campuses and will be updating readers and users regularly, anyone who has pictures or news can send them to [email protected].
The pictures in and below this - and all other linked articles - are free-to-use for Israel advocates as long as they are credited to SAUJS or the SA Jewish Report.

IAW16b Golda

ABOVE: One of the posters in the Rights series - in this case women's rights are highlighted by Israel having been one of the first countries in the world to have a female prime minister, Golda Meir 

iaw16 poster Indian wedding full
ABOVE: Another of the posters in the Rights series - this one focusing of freedom of religion 
IAW16-Madiba poster1
ABOVE: One of the Madiba series of famous quotes on Israel and/or South African Jewry whom he held very close to his heart 

IAW16-Madiba poster
ABOVE: Presidents Mandela and Peres on one of the "Went to Israel, Saw for For Himself" series of posters

iaw16-Tweet #1 FULL
ABOVE: This is one of the social media posts that have been doing the rounds this week. All in all SAUJS created 44 social media images that they have had teams posting out  


  1. 3 nat cheiman 10 Mar
    No contest in the brains department.
    The BDS and allies, are devoid and bankrupt in logic and brains.
    However the Hassan Bek mosque in Tel Aviv shocked me. RIGID
    In fact Israel has been too lenient.
    Angola has declared Islam a cult. The process of dismantling mosques has started.
  2. 2 Mordechai 11 Mar
    Hi Ant,

    It appears from your article that you hold Mandela to be this great men who was a friend of Israel and wanted Israel to make peace with the Palestinians. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mandela was an enemy of Israel, who from the time he was released from prison compared Israel to Apartheid South Africa. His closest allies were Israels sworn enemies, Libya, Iran, Arafat. He gave Louis Farakan an official audience at his Houghton home, and visited the Libyan convicted of the Lockabee bombing in prison. Please please dont hold a man who hasted Israel and did everything he could to undermine it credability, and hold him out to be what he was not. 

  3. 1 Mordechai 11 Mar
    The way South African Jews idiolise Mandela, a man who  was an enemy of the Jewish state of Israel, makes my blood boil. The fact that he allowed South African Jews to continue living their white privliged lives is no reason for the community to have "worshipped" this man.


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