PRESS RELEASE: Shashi Naidoo barred from seeing Palestine by Israeli authorities

25 July 2018

Well-known South African citizen, model, actress and TV personality, Shashi Naidoo, has been blocked from “seeing for herself” the Israeli oppression against Palestinians. Earlier today Israel prevented Naidoo passage to Palestine. Israeli authorities control access to Palestine and blocked her on the orders of Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and on the recommendation of Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.

Naidoo joins a growing list of South Africans who have been denied passage to Palestine including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Minister Blade Nzimande, World Council of Churches leader Isabel Phiri and many others South African citizens. Israel also blocks Jews who are critical of Israel like Rabbi Alisa Wise of Jewish Voices for Peace. This repressive behaviour is how Israel treats Palestinians who are subjected to similar but worse forms of restriction and denial of many other freedoms, similar to the way we South Africans once were treated by the Apartheid regime.

Israel is yet again exposing its lie that it is open to “objective” visitors. Israel only allows its own praise-singers. This is a clear indication of Israel’s refusal to 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 SA Embassy in Israel to a liaison office. There can be no doubt that Israel is a hostile state to South Africa.

Embarrassingly South Africa has never blocked entry to even the most right wing, extremist Israeli. This shows the urgent need for South Africa to protect its dignity, sovereignty and put an end to the farce of diplomatic relations. This is also a complete violation of the sovereignty of Palestine, evidence of Israel’s attempts to hide their oppression and an insult to us by denying the right of South Africans to travel.

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