Unfortunately, she has chosen to do so through the BDS organisation. The BDS is based on the premise that Israel should be boycotted until it ceases to exist as a Jewish state. Many of the campaigns the organisation initiates in South Africa have resulted in blatant antisemitic incidents (including the singing of “Shoot the Jew”, Nazi salutes, the placing of a pigs-head in the kosher section of Woolworths).
It was clear from the press conference Shashi Naidoo held with BDS on 20 June 2018, that the aim of the trip was less about Shashi learning about Palestine and more about “re-educating” her into holding the same beliefs as BDS; principally that Israel should not exist, and that anyone associated with Israel, including Jews here in South Africa, should be targeted in the BDS’ campaign of hate.
This BDS campaign of hate has led to many countries around the world, including Israel, Germany, Canada, France and the US actively legislating against BDS activity, effectively recognising and rejecting the inherent racism and antisemitsm of this organisation.
Accordingly, the SAJBD, as the voice of South African Jewry, recognises that Israel has a right, as does any other sovereign state, to deny entry to those calling for its destruction.
We hope that Ms Naidoo will renounce BDS, and soon return to Israel and Palestine through the proper channels, in order to learn more about the complexities of that conflict, and the real suffering experienced by both Israelis and Palestinians due to the lack of a viable peace process.