It’s official. Shashi Naidoo may now think Gaza is the world’s largest open air prison, but the inside of her head probably contains even more air.
Naidoo gave an interview after returning to South Africa following her ban from entering Israel, and let’s just say she does not seem like the sharpest tool in the shed (but a tool, nonetheless).
- “After going there and seeing everything you see, you can’t unsee that”. Yes, except you did not even actually see anything BECAUSE YOU WERE BANNED FROM ENTERING!!
- Admitting she was warned before the trip that she would not be allowed to enter – yet still went and even dragged her mother along!
- “All palestinian borders are controlled by Israeli authorities or military.” What is Egypt (which controls Gaza’s southern border) – chopped liver?
- Speaking of the palestinians in a Jordanian refugee camp having one square foot to sleep. Which is patently false and ridiculous – unless you are about one foot tall.
- Admitting she now supports BDS and claiming people had told her it is a “terrorist organization” (this is also not true; she was told it is antisemitic, not terrorist)
And the stupidity does not end there.
9 THINGS I DID NOT KNOW A MONTH AGO: 1. I did not know that Palestine is divided into Gaza and West Bank. They are physically separated by Israel in between. I now know that Gaza is the world’s largest concentration camp and free travel between Gaza and the West Bank is virtually impossible especially if you are Palestinian. 2. I did not know that Palestinians are the largest refugee population in the world. I now know that over 6 million Palestinians cannot return to their own homes, and live in constant separation from loved ones and family members. 3. I did not know that Palestine was such an important issue for South Africans. I now know that the Palestinian issue is about basic human rights, which we as South Africans hold close to our hearts. 4. I did not know that my pursuit of knowledge would attract the label of “terrorist” or “threat” from the government of Israel. I now know that any person who has a different opinion to that of the State of Israel could be seen as a “threat”. 5. I did not know how labels are used to vilify individuals. Professionals such as doctors, authors, accountants, lawyers and even organisations have been labelled “threats” to Israel because they engage in activism. I have come to know them as wonderful souls driven by truth and justice. 6. I did not know that this was not a religious issue. I now know that it is about basic human rights and these belong to all beings regardless of religion, ethnicity, race or creed. 7. I did not know how multi-faceted this issue truly is. I now know that despite the complexities, the uncontroversial facts are that the occupation must end, and Palestinians deserve Freedom, a right that all humans should enjoy. 8. I did not know how vicious social media commentary can be. I now know that compassion attracts the heart to the truth, not aggression. 9. I did not know that my opinion mattered. I now know that even the smallest voices can make a difference in the struggle for Justice for all people.
- Gaza is not even close to being a concentration camp, and the comparison is offensive
- There are not over 6 million palestinian refugees. Even UNRWA, which employs a ridiculously expansive definition of refugee to include descendants of those whose “normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948,” counts them at about 5 million.