With the Miss Universe 2021 in Israel, the question on many South Africans lips is, “Whether the Miss SA organisation will designate a participant?”
Another question is how South Africans will respond to participation at the 70th pageant being held in Israel, due to the country’s stance against apartheid and with the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza.
The Miss Universe organisation made the announcement that the contest will take place in Israel in December with host Steve Harvey following up with more information about the pageant on his page.
— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) July 20, 2021
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However, the news did not go down well with many calling for a boycott of the pageant.
Miss Universe, which claims to provide a platform to “empower” women, is now legitimizing the apartheid state that continues to violently displace and slaughter Palestinian women.
Interesting too, how this comes in a time of heightened international awareness of Israel’s crimes. https://t.co/IqrBFSnaqz
— Rey Valmores-Salinas (@rosereyde) July 21, 2021
Miss Universe 2021 should not happen in Israel!
This is an outrage.
How can a platform, that tries to empower, host in an oppressive state. pic.twitter.com/gav8fWPXbb
— Marco De Vil (@nickchase327) July 20, 2021
— Dr. Shebeleza (@that_winner_lee) July 20, 2021
they really about to host miss universe in israel?
i can’t begin to express how mindblowingly bad that is.
— Tshepiso Rebaone (@blkmotswana) July 20, 2021
Just two weeks ago, as reported by Al Jazeera, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians, wounding hundreds. The Palestine Red Crescent confirmed that live ammunition was used on 31 of 379 protestors.
Earlier this year when the conflict between Israel and Palestine escalated during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, South African civil society groups, diplomats took to the Palestinian embassy to show solidarity towards the people of Palestine.
The ANC condemned the continuous assault by “apartheid Israel” and the escalation of the violence inflicted on the Palestinian people and held a picket outside the American Consulate in May.
However, many feel that should South Africa opt to not partake in the contest, it may send the wrong message to the rest of the world.
The Miss SA organisation is yet to make an announcement regarding the Miss Universe decision and this is probably due to their focus being on this year’s Miss SA pageant which is currently underway.