Story-ideas-1011172

Shashi banned from Israel for 10 years

  • ShashiNaidoo3
In what appears to be a tactical public relations coup for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions South Africa (BDS-SA), local celebrity Shashi Naidoo was refused entry to Israel on Wednesday. She was stopped as she tried to get into Israel from Jordan.
by PAULA SLIER | Jul 26, 2018

Speaking from Jordan, Naidoo said she had been interrogated at the border and her passport was stamped, preventing her from returning for a decade. She was flying home that evening.

Naidoo said she was hurt and frustrated, and re-iterated that her intentions had not been to hurt Israel but to come with an open mind. “I’m not anti-Israel and I’m not anti-Jewish,” she said.

Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, acknowledged that after assessing that Naidoo’s visit would be used to delegitimise Israel, officials denied her entry as part of Israel’s policy in fighting BDS.

Her visit was proposed and supported by BDS-SA, which held a press conference for Naidoo to publicly apologise for her social media support for Israel.

Naidoo hit the headlines when she posted her support for Israel on Instagram. She criticised Hamas and its rule of the Gaza Strip, saying there was more than one side in the conflict and that the country was the opposite of apartheid.

The postings sparked an outcry from the anti-Israel lobby. Naidoo then recanted her statements and issued a tearful apology on social media after receiving death and rape threats. At the press conference, Naidoo said she would visit the region with BDS to “re-educate myself about the situation”.

Last week, the SA Jewish Report told of how Israel’s deputy ambassador had met with Naidoo, telling her not to go to Israel as she would be turned away.

In a press statement, Erdan said that because of her pro-Israeli statements, Naidoo received a harsh backlash and was now trying to recover from damage caused by BDS organisations.

But he pointed out that her planned tour and its “re-education” aspect was seen by the ministry as a cynical form of “compensation” for BDS-SA through which it would then utilise Naidoo’s public profile for its own ends.

“It is sad that in today’s South Africa, expressing support for Israel in its struggle against terrorism leads to death threats against those who expressed their support,” Erdan said.

“This is the same intimidation and coercion which we saw used against the Argentinian national football team, when BDS organisations threatened the players and their families who planned to visit Israel. In these unfortunate circumstances, we cannot allow her to enter the country.

“I personally invite Ms Naidoo to visit Israel on her own accord and experience the reality on the ground. She will soon discover that what she tweeted was true and accurate.”

BDS-SA said refusing entry to Naidoo was a clear indication that Israel did not allow freedom of movement, expression and association. “This behaviour by Israel infringes on our diplomatic relations and is a further indication of the need for South Africa to implement the ANC’s resolution for the immediate and unconditional downgrade of the South African Embassy in Israel. There can be no doubt that Israel is a hostile state to South Africa.”

2 Comments

  1. 2 Selwyn Levin 27 Jul
    One thing I have never undertood ,even with the explanation given to me, is my view of Israel's poor PR and propaganda machines. Without knowing the details of, with who, how, where and in which way Shashi Naidoo would have toured Israel in her "Learning Tour", I believe Israel could have created a tour that would have been a major PR tour/coup and a big slap in the face od BDS and the anti Israel troupe. I think a golden opportunity has been missed by Israel. Please note, this is the land of desalination and thousands of scientific and high tech inventions. To take a young lady on an educational tour should be a walk in the park for the Israeli diplomatic corp.
  2. 1 Russell Fig 27 Jul
    Hostile my foot when Israel opposed Apartheid and has taken in Ethiopian Jews. Also Arabs who are Israeli Cititizens although they face discrimination have more freedom in Israel then they would ever achieve in an Arab Country.

      when are South African blacks with an anti Israel bias going to realise that they have been misled? How many of you have even vistited Israel or even gooten to know a Jew? I bet most of you have not you have only been exposed to lies. Yes Israel is not perfect but there is no way that you can ever compare it to the formerly Apartheid regime in South Africa.

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