Action needed against proposed UCT academic boycott of Israel - SAZF

Organisation appeals to university alumni to sign and share petition as council considers move

Dear UCT Alumni,


The University of Cape Town (UCT)’s Council will be voting this Saturday, 30 March 2019 on implementing an Academic Boycott of Israeli universities at UCT.

We ask for your urgent assistance in taking a stand against this dangerous attempt to attack Israel and undermine academic freedom at UCT. The consequences of the decision will be important for UCT, South Africa and Israel’s supporters globally.

As a UCT alum, you are well aware that an academic boycott against Israel, the only country in the Middle East with free higher education institutions and remarkable inclusion of minority groups at its Universities, will contribute nothing towards peace and only damage UCT’s reputation as the leading University of Africa. It is imperative that UCT maintain its international standing, its relationships with all international universities, and the ability for UCT students and academics to freely engage their academic studies without restriction.

Over the past 2 years, there has been a concerted campaign at UCT to pressurise the university to impose an academic boycott against Israeli universities. Despite the fact that the Senate comprehensively rejected an academic boycott motion in November 2018, it was reintroduced in an amended format last week (March 2019) and the Senate passed it with a 62-43 margin (10 abstentions).  The resolution is now being taken to Council this week, and we look to you for your assistance in opposing it.


1. As a UCT alum, please kindly share certain information with us via this Google Form 

An alumni representative will present all the signatures of alumni on the petition to the Council before the vote.  (Your information will not be shared for any other purpose).

2. If you know anyone on the University Council list (here) please make contact with us via this Google Form https://forms.gle/rjcLKmFtq3e1fd2G7

3. Please share this article by supporters of academic freedom at UCT, across your social media platforms. 

4. Please sign and share the following petition: https://bit.ly/2JFFJ2W  

Thank you for you support on this issue.

Yours Sincerely

Ben Swartz                                         Rowan Polovin
National Chairman                           Chairman
SAZF                                                    SAZF, Cape Council