A lecture by Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid at the University of Johannesburg was discontinued Wednesday after students barged into the venue and interrupted the speaker, calling him “a liar and a sell-out,” according to witnesses at the scene.
The protesters were said to be associated with the BDS movement in South Africa, which urges boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the Jewish state as a means to end Israeli control of the West Bank.
Eid was threatened with a finger to his face, at which point he was evacuated by campus security and was escorted to a waiting car outside the lecture hall, according to a press release issued by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies.
The event was organized by the SA Union of Jewish Students as part of a program to debate the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. A meeting with the university will be held shortly to discuss the incident, the press release stated.
“It is especially telling that BDS disrupted a speech by a Palestinian human rights activist that was sharing his experiences and thoughts for peace, making it evident that peace is less on their agenda than is forcing others to abide by their intolerant agenda,” the statement by the Jewish Board of Deputies read.
In February, the student representative council at the Durban University of Technology in South Africa urged the institution’s management to expel its Jewish students, especially those who don’t support the Palestinian cause.
The demand was also extended to any students sponsored by the Israeli government.
Durban University of Technology vice-chancellor Ahmed Bawa called the suggestion to kick out Jewish students “totally unacceptable.”