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March 8, 2017 3:36 pm

BDS Activists on South African Campus Wave Hezbollah Flag at Pro-Israel Counter-Demonstrators

avatar by Lea Speyer

The flag of Hezbollah displayed by BDS activists at Wits University. Photo: Gilad Kabilo.

The flag of Hezbollah displayed by BDS activists at Wits University. Photo: Gilad Kabilo.

The Hezbollah flag was prominently displayed by BDS activists during a standoff with pro-Israel students at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in South Africa on Wednesday, an activist present at the confrontation told The Algemeiner.

Gilad Kabilo, the leader of an Israeli delegation brought to Wits by education organization StandWithUs to observe and counter Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) events, said the waving of the Iran-backed Lebanon-based terrorist organization’s flag was one “furious reaction” to the pro-Israel community’s demonstration against a “die-in” on campus.

Pro-Israel and Jewish students at Wit University hold a silent protest in response to a BDS die-in on campus. Photo: Gilad Kabilo.

Pro-Israel and Jewish students at Wits University hold a silent protest in response to a BDS “die-in” on campus. Photo: Gilad Kabilo.

Kabilo said that, in anticipation of the die-in, some 60 pro-Israel activists — from StandWithUs and the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) — “stood in silent protest” with posters of Israeli terror victims and signs reading, “We respect the victims on both sides. Do you?” and, “These are the victims of Palestinian terror #enough.” 

After the die-in was over, Kabilo recounted, one BDS demonstrator returned with several friends and the Hezbollah flag. “In response, our side held up the Israeli flag, and some began to sing the Israeli national anthem ‘Hatikvah.’”

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At one point, he added, Palestinian Authority and Hamas flags appeared, as well.

Jewish student groups expressed their outrage on social media, with the SAUJS saying the display of the Hezbollah flag is tantamount to “advocating for terrorism on campus,” and the World Union of Jewish Students calling on Wits to “officially denounce” the act.

The standoff came on the heels of a similar confrontation on Tuesday. As was first reported by The Algemeiner, BDS demonstrators were prevented from attacking an Arab-Israeli Zionist by students dancing and chanting in Hebrew. And on Monday, BDS protesters violently attacked pro-Israel students countering IAW efforts.  

IAW is a series of anti-Israel events held every February and March at universities around the world. Hezbollah is a designated foreign terror organization by the US, France, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Israel and the Arab League.

Watch pro-Israel and Jewish students at Wits sing ‘Hatikvah,’ in response to the Hezbollah flag, below:

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