Senate says no to anti-Israeli resolution
The ORIGINAL MOTION asked the Senate to endorse the following: “We now call on members of the Rhodes University academic community to support the position that academics holding Israeli citizenship, as well as official representatives from Israel, in advance of an invitation to visit Rhodes University, be requested to make a statement renouncing the use of lethal military force by the Israeli government against unarmed civilians in Palestine the Occupied Territories and the forcible displacement of Palestinian from their homes.”
The original motion was prepared by Prof Larry Strelitz (who is Jewish) and Prof Robert van Niekerk – who is at the forefront of anti-Israel activity at Rhodes.
Dr Fourie said that the Senate had rather resolved to define Rhodes’ position as follows: “Rhodes University upholds the constitutionally enshrined rights of academic freedom and freedom of speech. Rhodes is an intellectual space for all, and a home for all. We encourage academics and students to debate vigorously on any issue without excluding others from the process of creating knowledge and uncovering truth.
“Rhodes respects the rights of individuals and/or groups of individuals to freely and openly express their opinion, views and disapproval of countries and/or individuals involved in the violation of human rights, propagating war and violence against humanity,” said the Registrar, “ and is committed to ensuring that the campus is a safe space for the unfettered pursuit of truth and knowledge, and the exchange of views in the form of reasoned debate, including those topics that are controversial or uncomfortable.”
RHODES VC ACCUSED OF ‘HATRED OF JEWS’ published on 3 September which has links to various past anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish behavior at the once venerable University.
FRIEDMAN, GORDON & USERS FIGHT IT OUT published over the past week, Victor Gordon and Prof Friedman have been exchanging letters in SAJR and users have piled in with comments too.
RHODES IS HOTBED OF ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVITY the once-venerable campus is losing Jewish students and donors – little wonder when you read how the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic lines are blurring.
ORIGINAL MOTION the complete text of the petition and motion put before the Rhodes Senate last Friday. It was rejected and Senate replaced it with a ‘parev’ resolution.