Aug 11, 2010

Students urge PLO envoy not to attend Zionist lecture

A Palestinian student union has called on PLO ambassador to South Africa Ali Ahmed Halimeh not to attend a conference organized by a Zionist student group scheduled for Thursday.

The Palestinian Student Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel in Gaza said in an open letter that Halimeh's participation in a South African Union of Jewish Students lecture entitled Towards Peace in the Middle East – The Status of Current Democracy "as antagonistic to the values of our people, and it cannot be subsumed under the framework of diplomatic duties as SAUJS is neither a governmental nor parliamentary organization."

The student union said the South Africa Palestine Solidarity Campaign views the group as "part of the Zionist lobby, which is known to work relentlessly to support Israel and whitewash Israel’s crimes."

"SAUJS considers Zionism as one of its three main pillars - in addition to “Jewish Identity” and “South Africa” - as is mentioned on their website. This ensures SAUJS’s unconditional support or apartheid, and Israel’s killing and ethnic cleansing policies, which have led to the displacement of tens of thousands of Palestinians, and suffering caused by 62 years of ongoing Nakba."

According to the group's website, the Jewish organization hosts "interesting speakers, do interfaith events, have great socials, provide religious learning in own Beit Midrash, participate in political debates, do outreach work, help get exams moved from Jewish holidays and fight anti-Zionism on campus."

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