South African celebrity expected to be turned away at Israel’s border

“I believe that flagging an individual, whose only intention was to push an agenda of love and light, is dubious.”

Supermodel and brand ambassador Shashi Naidoo speaks at a BDS South Africa press conference last month (photo credit: BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
Supermodel and brand ambassador Shashi Naidoo speaks at a BDS South Africa press conference last month
(photo credit: BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
South African supermodel and brand ambassador Shashi Naidoo may be turned away from Israel’s border next week as she takes part in at trip to “re-educate” herself about the situation in “Palestine.”
She told the South African Jewish Report that during a meeting at the Israeli Embassy, she was told she would be denied access into the country. She is expected to begin her trip on Monday.
Naidoo made headlines last month after she defended Israel’s actions in Gaza and explained the Israeli-Palestinian 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, the celebrity 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 has since been coerced by the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement targeting Israel into holding a press conference, at which she agreed to go on a trip with the organization.
“After my meeting at the Israeli Embassy, I have been declined access,” she told the Jewish Report via a WhatsApp conversation last week.
“I believe that flagging an individual, whose only intention was to push an agenda of love and light, is dubious,” she wrote, according to the newspaper. “I have said numerous times that I have no desire to be a political tool. My only hope was to meet the people, experience the land and give aid to those in need. It was never a BDS itinerary. I really am devastated.
“I was moving to Israel to do my Orthodox conversion. And now, nine months later, I am not allowed entry.” Naidoo was married to a Jewish man, but they divorced in 2011.
Israeli Deputy Ambassador to South Africa Ayellet Black told the weekly newspaper that “Israel has passed a law that, like any rational sovereign state, it denies entry to those seeking to harm the country. A BDS-planned mission such as this obviously intends to do just that.”
IN NOVEMBER, Israel implemented a law that blocks any foreign nationals who publicly call for economic, cultural or academic boycotts of either Israel or the territory it controls beyond the Green Line from entering the country.
It is believed Naidoo planned to fly to the region with her mother and one or two other people and hoped to enter the Jewish state through Jordan, and that the trip was planned under the auspices of BDS-affiliate South African Council of Churches.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman told The Jerusalem Post he was looking into the matter, but did not respond with additional information by press time.
Naidoo is among several celebrities who have been criticized and lambasted by BDS and its supporters for showing any pro-Israel sentiment.
Also last week, world-renowned South African author Zakes Mda tweeted that he would not use music from DJ Black Coffee for a movie he was involved with because the DJ had performed in Israel earlier this year.
“There are some great Black Coffee sounds that would be ideal for one of the films I’m involved in making,” the author wrote. “But now, damn, there’s this Israel thing! I guess I have to search for some other music, though it won’t be as apt for the scene as his.”
Mda went on to respond to a tweet by saying he didn’t want the film to be caught in the cross fire or tainted by such an association.
“A movie is big investment. You don’t make stupid decisions that will jeopardize its – at the very least – breaking even. You have the right to make a business decision to use music of an untainted DJ,” he said.
He added, “For me it is also a political decision.”
The author also made his views on Israel clear in a subsequent tweet, saying that several years ago he turned down an invitation to a book fair in Israel.
“My family, especially my wife and kids, are very strict about not buying Israeli products. More so now than ever before,” he concluded.
Earlier this year, following the heavy backlash from his Israel performance, DJ Black Coffee told South African media that the show was not meant to be political but helped with his global reach, adding that it was his third time playing in the country.
The DJ made it clear to his critics that he “is not a political party” and that he was only trying to feed his family.