The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) congratulates Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane, on the crowning achievement of being named 2nd runner-up at the Miss Universe competition in Eilat, Israel this morning. 

South Africa owes Lalela our enormous gratitude and thanks for her courage to represent South Africa on the global stage. We commend the moral fortitude of her standing up to the hateful bullying and intimidation tactics over a young woman by the antisemitic BDS movement, which failed to prevent her from attending and shining in the event in Israel. 

Numerous polls and studies showed that millions of South Africans stood proudly behind Miss South Africa’s attendance of the competition in Israel, while a few noisy haters of the Jewish State tried to block her from seeing Israel for herself. She ultimately revealed what the BDS was so panicked about her seeing and speaking publicly about: that Israel is a friendly, normal and democratic nation. She stated during her visit that she “always thought South Africa has the friendliest people on earth but it might be rivalled by Israel”. 

Miss SA wore an outfit titled the “dove of peace” at the costume show to represent and call for peace among nations. It was fitting that this occurred during the weekend when Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett went on the first official visit of an Israeli premier to the United Arab Emirates. The Abraham Accords has brought Israel and the Arab world warmly together, with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco having signed normalisation agreements with Israel over the past year. It is only South Africa that remains light years away from understanding and participating in the shifting changes in the Middle East. The South African government’s singular obsession with Israel, which resulted in an embarrassing and shameful attempt by our government to block Miss SA’s participation in this beautiful event, prevents our country from being taken seriously in foreign affairs, or playing any meaningful role in bringing the Palestinians away from enmity and towards peace. 

Let Lalela become our country’s Ambassador of Peace. She is a true Ambassador and representative of South Africa. We wish her well on her upward journey and support her alongside tens of millions of others.

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Rowan Polovin

Rowan Polovin is the National Chairman of the South African Zionist Federation.

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