South African celebrity Shashi Naidoo speaks during a BDS press conference in Johannesburg last month..
(photo credit: BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
The Strategic Affairs and Interior ministries confirmed on Wednesday that South African celebrity Shashi Naidoo was denied entry to Israel because she was coming under the pretenses of a BDS delegation.
However, Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan invited her to visit in her own personal capacity, “to get an impression of the reality on the ground, which would show that your [original] posts were true and precise.”
The ministry stressed that Naidoo does not promote boycotts, saying it believes the contrary because of her initial pro-Israeli statements, which received harsh and violent public criticism, and that “she is now apparently trying to ‘rehabilitate’ herself in light of the damage caused to her image by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions organizations in South Africa.
Naidoo, the ministry added, “is being held captive by these organizations, and the tour and its definition of ‘re-education’ in Israel and the Palestinian Authority constitutes ‘compensation’ for BDS South Africa
, in lieu of her high public profile.”
The actress made headlines last month after she defended Israel’s actions in Gaza and explained the conflict in a factual manner. However, during her explanation, she called Gaza a “shithole,” due to the way Hamas is running the Strip. She said the international aid and money given was being used for rockets instead of housing, schools and better infrastructure.
Following her comments, she said she received 10 death threats and was intimidated, threatened and dropped by several of the brands she represents.
After the death threats, Naidoo issued an apology for her comments. She was later coerced by the BDS movement into holding a press conference, where she agreed to go on a trip with the organization for “re-education” purposes.
Interior Minister Arye Deri explained his reasoning for denying Naidoo access by saying boycott organizations are rising and threatening all kinds of celebrities from around the world to call for a boycott of Israel.
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