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South African students renew call to boycott Israel
Representatives of South Africa’s oldest and largest student bodies in Johannesburg denounced an upcoming visit by a delegation of Israeli officials and propagandists to South African college campuses in an August 3 press conference, ElectronicIntifada.net said on August 5.
Calling for a strengthening of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement across South Africa, the students declared that “all SA campuses must be Apartheid-Israel free zones” in a statement.
The students represented the South African Union of Students (SAUS), the South African Student Congress (SASCO) and the Young Communist League (YCL). The statement said: “As with the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, international solidarity is key in overcoming Israeli Apartheid.
“In Nelson Mandela’s words: '...we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.'
This move comes after a vote in March by the Senate of the University of Johannesburg to cut ties with Ben Gurion University in Tel Aviv — a historic vote that was supported by more than 400 academics across South Africa and tireless BDS activists, scholars, trade unionists and students.
BDS win: Veolia loses another British contract
“In another victory for Palestinian rights, Ealing Council, in London, has failed to select Veolia for a comprehensive tender for its domestic refuse, street cleaning and parks maintenance contract,” the British Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) said in an August 3 statement.
“The contract is worth approx £300m in total over 15 years and one of Ealing Council’s largest single contracts ...
“Veolia remains involved in the building and future operation of a light-rail tramway linking Israel’s illegal settlements with West Jerusalem, facilitating Israel's ‘grave breaches’ of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
PSC director Sarah Colborne said: “Veolia’s loss of this contract, following its failure in a number of significant bids in Britain and internationally, is a clear sign that Veolia is paying a high price for its complicity in Israel’s occupation and violations of international law.
“West London PSC, together with other groups and individuals supporting Palestinian rights, wrote and met councillors from across the political spectrum and council officials, and submitted detailed factual and legal analysis. Veolia must realise that until it pulls out of all its activities serving Israel ’s illegal settlements, it will continue to be a target for the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions.”
Global queer groups pull out of Israel meeting
The International Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organization announced on July 28 it would withdraw its General Assembly from Israel, citing “much debate on the proposed location of the GA by IGLYO Member Organisations and also by LGBTQ and human rights allies”, ElectronicIntifada.net said on August 2.
Their announcement came after Palestinian queer groups and solidarity activists launched the “IGLYO Out of Israel!” campaign in early June. In a July 29 statement, on 29 July, Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions said: “We take this opportunity to salute IGLYO Member and Associate Organizations who took a principled and moral stand in support of our rights and heeded our calls.”
PQBDS added that IGLYO’s statement was unclear in that it did not mention specific political reasons for withdrawing the GA — and that the organisation is still planning on holding a youth leadership summit in Tel Aviv in December.