(JTA) – The vice-chancellor at a South African university called a student government demand to kick out pro-Israel Jewish students “outrageous” and “preposterous.”
The Students Representative Council at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) called on the university to expel “Jewish students, especially those who do not support the Palestinian struggle,” council secretary Mqondisi Duma told the Daily News, an English-language daily that mostly serves the Durban area. Duma said the demand came after the council “had a meeting and analyzed international politics.”
Students sponsored by the Israeli government also should be expelled, the council added.
The council, along with the Progressive Youth Alliance, outlined its demands in a memorandum. In addition to the expulsions, the student boards also called for more financial aid and better housing options.
Ahmed Bawa, the vice-chancellor, responded to the memorandum, as well as a student protest during school hours, in a letter Wednesday to students and faculty. Along with calling the “deregistration” demand “outrageous” and “preposterous,” he said it was “a deep violation of our National Constitution and every human rights principle.”
“No student at DUT will be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, gender, political affiliation or sexual orientation,” Bawa wrote.
Natan Pollack, the national chairman of the South African Union of Jewish Students, called the demand “deplorable,” according to the Daily News.