Wits University Student Says Antisemitism, Holocaust Denial Rampant Among BDS Advocates in South Africa
A student at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa has condemned the “addiction” progressive activists have for the anti-Israel boycott campaign as “akin to insanity.”
Adam Dison wrote in Haaretz last week that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement helped define his participation in student politics at Wits, and — following four years of hostile and sometimes violent incidents involving BDS supporters — eventually led him to cut ties with progressive activists in South Africa.
“The number of intelligent fellow students who’ve attempted to deny the Holocaust to me is utterly depressing,” Dison observed. “The level of education about Holocaust history, Zionist history and real thinking about the Israel-Palestine conflict is sub-par.”
Dison noted that throughout the years, the flags of the Islamist terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas were waved on campus; a Wits student greeted Jewish peers “with a Hitler salute and goose-stepping”; the Student Representative Council president professed his “love” for Adolf Hitler; representatives from the Congress of South African Students placed a pig’s head in the kosher/halal section of a local shop as an “anti-Israel” protest; a BDS leader defended chants of “Dubula e juda” (“Shoot the Jew”); and graffiti reading “Kill a Jew” and “Fuck the Jews” was found on campus.
“There is no space left for progressive Jews at Wits who don’t support this illogical way of thinking and action,” he warned.
Dison told The Algemeiner that while many of his friends and allies call out antisemitism, there is still “no place for Jews who don’t endorse BDS or who call themselves Zionist.”
“Every progressive Jew I know of and who is part of my generation expresses similar sentiments,” he said. “For most, it keeps them out of student politics all together and a lot of potential allies are lost.”
“I think intellectual Jews tend to be progressive,” Dison added. “Unfortunately, they either endorse BDS or turn to other outlets for their activism.”