Wits University Vice Chairman Rebuffs ‘Jewish Puppet’ Critics: ‘It’s Racist and Antisemitic’
The vice chancellor of a major Johannesburg university struck back on Thursday at critics who claimed he had bowed to Jewish pressure over the sacking of student president Mcebo Dlamini, saying he is critical of Israel.
“I am a critic of the Israeli state,” said University of Witwatersrand Vice Chancellor Adam Habib, who had arrived at a debate on the subject of Dlamini’s dismissal to a chorus of boos.
“I was the only VC to write about the incursion into Gaza,” he said, referring to last summer’s IDF ground invasion of the Gaza Strip during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas. “How did we go from the critique of Israel … to talking about all Jews? It’s racist and antisemitic.”
The vice chancellor had been labeled a “puppet” to Jewish donors by an alumni group and others for leading the panel that ultimately removed Dlamini, shortly after the student president with a knack for controversy posted to Facebook: “I love Adolf Hiter… There is an element of Hitler in every white person.”
Habib insisted that Dlamini was removed for other offenses, including the assault of a staff member, and said that the process of removing Dlamini was started three days before he posted his adoration of the Nazi dictator to Facebook.
“If I had acted on his Hitler comment, why did I start the process three days before? It only happened because I am prophet and I knew he would say it,” quipped Habib.
Habib also noted that claims of Jewish influence over the school were “factually wrong.”
Dlamini has refused to apologize for the statement, which he said was made to protest white racism, and said that while he acknowledged Hitler’s genocidal acts against Jews, he admired the Nazi dictator for his organizational and rallying skills.