Student BDS supporters sentenced for disrupting Israeli pianist

The students at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg forced the cancellation of a recital last March by pianist Yossi Reshef with their attempt to enforce a student-initiated cultural boycott of Israel on campus.

In a decision handed down last week by an independent advocate, 10 of the students were excluded from the university for one year, suspended provided that they are not found guilty of other misconduct for two years. The students cannot hold office in student government for one year and must perform 80 hours of community service.

One of the students also must perform an additional 50 hours of community service for not obeying a lawful instruction from a university employee.

The South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies said in a statement that the verdict “sends out a clear message that Wits remains committed to providing a free, open environment in which the values of freedom of expression and association are strenuously upheld and where any behavior aimed at preventing others from exercising those rights is not tolerated.”

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