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WATCH: South African In Israel: “Where Is The Blacks-Only Bathroom?”

South African university student Klaas Mokgomole had just landed at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv after a nine-hour flight from Johannesburg and desperately needed a bathroom.

Approaching an airline official – hoping he understood English – Mokgomole asked him: “Can you please show me to the blacks-only restroom?”

Shocked by his question, the official responded that there was certainly no such bathroom in the airport but pointed the way to the nearest men’s bathroom.
Now it was Mokgomole’s turn to be shocked. He proceeded to enter the bathroom and saw the evidence with his own eyes. Contrary to what he had been told in South Africa, Jews and Arabs were using the same bathroom and no one objected when he – with his black skin – walked in.

Mokgomole spoke about that moment in 2015 to Tazpit Press Service (TPS) in a recent trip to Jerusalem: “I was taught very emphatically, racism in Israel runs so deep, that the Jews do not even share their bathrooms with blacks or Arabs. To see within the first few moments after landing in Israel that this clearly is not the case marked a turning point for me.”

That moment marked the beginning of Mokgomole’s journey from an anti-Israel BDS activist to what he is today – the head coordinator of Africans for Peace, an organization that fights against the anti-Israel and BDS rhetoric fed to university students in South Africa, the US and the UK.

While Mokgomole was a student at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, he became active in the black liberation movement, the African National Congress (ANC). As part of his work as an activist for those he viewed as oppressed, he was exposed to the anti-Israel BDS movement which has a strong presence at South African universities.

“The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction organization came to us and made a presentation complete with PowerPoint and videos showing babies dying to explain why Israel was an apartheid state. And as a South African, being black, it sort of touched me,” Mokgomole told TPS.

“We really believed these guys pushing BDS to us,” said Mokgomole. “We sort of felt like these are our friends and we can trust them. They told us Arabs are not allowed into Israeli universities, not allowed to share buses, beaches, or hospitals with Jews, essentially that the Jews set up a replica to the apartheid system that caused so much suffering here in South Africa. We didn’t authenticate the information, we just felt like it must be true and we have to fight it.”

“They weren’t just preaching anti-Zionism, they were preaching antisemitism and we didn’t really know the difference.”

Mokgomole was so influenced by the lies he heard that he began attacking anything connected to Israel and Judaism, including placing a severed pig’s head in the kosher section of a supermarket and storming the stage of an Israeli pianist’s recital at the university, which almost got him expelled.

As his future at the university hung in the balance, Mokgomole began questioning the information he had been fed about Israel, later deciding to visit the Jewish state in a quest to justify his anti-Israel activism.

Following his eye-opening trip, Mokgomole returned to South Africa eager to share his experiences and explain to friends that they’d been lied to.

The conversations did not go well, to put it mildly.

“It was so unusual that anyone would want to go to Israel because it is such a taboo,” he told TPS. “I committed a sin in their eyes and they didn’t want to associate with me any longer.”

“This was before we had the term cancel-culture but that is exactly what they tried to do to me. Friends abandoned me and some of those who I was closest with warned me to look out for a ‘necklace,’” Mokgomole said. “Necklacing” is the term used for the execution method used on blacks suspected of collaborating with the apartheid regime – a tire drenched in gasoline is placed around the victim and set on fire.

However, Mokgomole is a determined person and even death threats failed to intimidate him and his quest to spread the truth. He succeeded in convincing some of his friends to explore the facts about Israel, even encouraging them to visit and discover the truth themselves.

“They started giving me their ear. Many of my friends started taking trips to Israel to see what I was talking about. One guy who used to publicly profess his love of Hitler made the trip and when he returned, he walked over to the campus Jewish committee and apologized to them.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

7 Responses

  1. “One guy who used to publicly profess his love of Hitler made the trip and when he returned, he walked over to the campus Jewish committee and apologized to them.”

    This is so beautiful b”h

  2. We lived in S. Africa during Apartheid. Yes, there was crime, but mostly car theft. No black dared to raise a hand to a white person. It’s taboo to say it now, but it must be said anyway: Apartheid worked. S. Africa was civilized and safe, unlike today, where one can’t walk the streets of downtown Johannesburg without fear of being a victim of violence at the hands of blacks. Reality, not bogus racism.

  3. Amazing.

    Comes to show you how literally stupid the masses are. Unless they just don’t care to find out the truth and are just as happy to hate the Jews whether it makes sense or not.

    Think “The Wave”

  4. Wow. Simply wow. I hadn’t known that things were that bad. It’s a brochoh that some people are starting to find out the truth.

  5. Arizona: downtown Johannesburg isn’t safe, but that’s not where the Jewish community is. Our suburbs are safe enough for our kids to walk to school and shul on their own.
    There’s a vibrant growing frum community in Johannesburg.

  6. @Arizona – so apartheid worked? Perhaps you should research the treatment that Blacks received at the hands of the regime. Try looking around the years 1960-65 for starters. The criminals were the regime. Today’s townships (as the slums are called) are lawless because of the previous hundreds of years of slavery, oppression and racism that the Blacks were subjected and, then suddenly had a hard-left government foisted upon them. Sure, some like Mokgomole, made it, but most haven’t managed to find their feet. How long has it taken Europeans to reach where they are up to? – and look at what they today call civilisation!

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