A South African university has threatened Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (BGU) with boycott if it continues its cooperation with the Israeli Army.
The South African University of Johannesburg (UJ) said in a Wednesday statement that it will sever its links with BGU unless it stops "direct and indirect support for the Israeli military and the occupation."
UJ’s faculty senate made the decision on a proposal, by anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu, calling for cutting ties with the Israeli university.
The South African university also asked BGU to work with its Palestinian counterparts on research projects.
"The conditions are that the memorandum of understanding governing the relationship between the two institutions be amended to include Palestinian universities chosen with the direct involvement of UJ," al-Jazeera quoted UJ as saying.
Additionally, UJ will not engage in any activities with BGU that have direct or indirect military implications, and this would be monitored by UJ’s senate academic freedom committee.
"Should these conditions not be met within six months, the memorandum of understanding will automatically lapse on April 1, 2011," UJ said.
"We’d like to bring BGU and Palestinian universities together to produce a collective engagement that benefits everyone," UJ Vice Chancellor Adam Habib said.
Tutu along with more than 200 prominent South African academics had called on UJ to cut its links with the Israeli university.
"Israeli universities are an intimate part of the Israeli regime, by active choice," AP quoted Tutu as saying on Sunday.
Tutu had said that while Palestinians are not able to access universities and schools, Israeli universities produce the research, technology, arguments and leaders for maintaining the occupation.