The MSA issued a press release saying, “This initiative, in the same week as IAW, makes it difficult for activists to participate in the programme at such short notice. We welcome the opportunity to engage but believe that a more reasonable time frame should be allocated to invited speakers.”
Furthermore, the MSA alleged that one of the coordinators had taken a biased stand by attending a trip to Israel hosted by the South African Union of Jewish Students. In the same press release the MSA asks, “Is it just coincidental that the main organiser of this event is someone who has just returned from a Zionist sponsored trip?” When asked about this organisational bias, Eckard responded that the organisers of the event would not have participated in the panel discussions, but would act as observers.
If the debate were to be rescheduled, the MSA said that they would participate fully. The MSA said that “After the date of IAW has passed, we will gladly engage in ‘dialogue’ with both factions of the panel (Pro-Israel and Pro-Neutrality) and we will provide adequate notice of such an intention.”
Illustration: Jaco Stroebel