WATCH: Triumphant Miss South Africa Tells Anti-Israel BDS: 'I Will Not Be Bullied'

WATCH: Triumphant Miss South Africa Tells Anti-Israel BDS: 'I Will Not Be Bullied'

Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane returned home Wednesday after a triumphant finish in the top three of the Miss Universe competition in Israel — and had a strong message for anti-Israel activists who pressured her to boycott: “I will not be bullied.”

As Breitbart News reported, Mswane won the title of 2nd Runner-up in the resort town of Eilat, competing alongside various contestants from Arab countries on a day when Israel’s prime minister made a historic visit to the United Arab Emirates. That message of peace and unity contrasted with the efforts of South African anti-Israel activists from the “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” (BDS) movement to pressure Mswane to boycott the pageant because it was being held in the Jewish state.

Mswane even defied the South African government, which caved to BDS and withdrew its support for her candidacy.

In the pageant, Mswane was asked what advice she would give young women. Her response: “Choose courage over comfort.”

South Africa: Choose courage over comfort in every opportunity they get.

Video courtesy of Miss Universe/Twitter#70thMissUniverse#MissUniverse2021


— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) December 13, 2021

Aanti-Israel groups continued to attack her, even after her successful finish, with some mocking her for not winning outright.

Do not call her "Miss SA"
She does not represent peace or the people of South Africa,
while she is walking on land that is steeped with Palestinian blood, spilt at the hands of Israel#NotMyMissSouthAfrica#boycottapartheidisrael

— Palestine Solidaritry Alliance (@psasouth_africa) December 14, 2021

imagine being chosen to sanitize apartheid and normalize genocide only to be crowned 2nd runner-up..

— sage monroe (@SquishyMonroe_) December 13, 2021

On Monday, Mswane landed to a hero’s welcome:

The atmosphere was electrifying with so much excitement in the room as @Lalela_lali walked into the airport to greet her supporters. 💫

— Miss South Africa (@Official_MissSA) December 15, 2021

At a press conference, she was asked if she regretted her choice. Her response:

Miss SA, @Lalela_lali responds to the question about going to Israel and whether she regrets it.

Her ANSWER is 🔥

Thank You 🙏🕊️🇱👑

— South African Zionist Federation (@SAzionfed) December 15, 2021

As South African news site Independent Online reported:

Commenting on her decision to defy the government, Lalela said: “Anybody that knows me knows I would have done it … purely because I am a firm believer in not succumbing to pressure.

“I am not in the wrong … I have a responsibility to my people yes … but I will not be bullied into making any sort of decision, and also I was of the view that I am being attacked because I failed to pick a side … as a sign of loyalty that’s very immature and unnecessary and it would not get us anywhere.”

South African Jewish organizations have hailed Mswane’s courage, and some critics of the government are calling on it to apologize to her.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Joel B. Pollak