South Africa has been divided following the Miss South Africa controversy on whether Lalela Mswane should attend the Miss Universe pageant in Israel.
While some support Mswane’s dream of participating in Miss Universe, many are against it simply because it is taking place in Israel.
Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan fully supports Miss SA and has encouraged her to go to Israel, despite the lack of support from the South African government.
In an interview with i24News, Idan said she understood what Mswane is going through. In 2019 she was in a similar position when her country criticised her for posting a picture with former Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman.
“Honestly, I commend her for her stance and her strength. I think she should do this not only for her beliefs, but because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go and represent your country on a world stage. And this is exactly the kind of ideals that we’re trying to push to the world and role models that we’re all about peace, and we’re trying to bring people together.
“We don’t care about governments. We care about people who live in the country. I think if she goes through with it, she is definitely a hero, and we all need to thank her and recognise her effort for doing that because I understand how difficult it is,” said Idan.
She explained that what’s happening in Israel is a dispute over land, and she doesn’t believe that Israel is an apartheid estate.
“What’s happening is a dispute over land. A conflict between Israel and another nation. People who are not Israelis, who are not part of the country. This is why it’s not an apartheid state.
“Why is South Africa, why these countries who hate Israel so much, do not acknowledge what is going on around the world? Why don’t they boycott China? Why don’t they boycott Turkey? Why don’t they boycott Iran? This is the hypocrisy, it is appalling. I think they're gunning for Israel because Israel is a state of minority, yet it’s very powerful, and the people are so determined,” said the human rights activist.
She added that the Israelis must not give up or else they will end up like her country.
“I respect Israel so much for defending their state because if they do give up to the narrative that Israel is an apartheid state, Israel is this and that, and they listen to their enemies what they’re trying to push, they will end up like my country, Iraq. We don’t have any independence. We are totally controlled by the Iranian regime,” she said.
Mswane has not yet said anything about the Miss Universe controversy.