Half Palestinian supermodel Bella Hadid has been one of the celebs most vocal on their support for the Free Palestine movement—relentlessly posting statements and resources on the issue. So it came as a shock to some when she posted an Instagram story on Israeli–Palestinian coexistence earlier today, May 18.
The now-deleted Instagram story had the words peace, coexistence, and equality along with emojis of the flags of Israel and Palestine. But if you go and check her IG stories now, it’s filled with reposts on Gaza updates, Palestinian history, and how you can help Palestinians. People are now speculating whether Hadid really had a momentary change of heart or if she was forced to post the IG story.
One netizen tweeted that she was either compelled by the people responsible for “protecting” her image or the Israeli government—or that she “[delusionally] thinks that peace is still an option.”
Another netizen tweeted that people should remember how Hadid was one of the first celebrities to join street protests in support of Palestine and that, as a model for international brands, she could be bound by contracts that may force her to post specific content.
On May 16, Hadid did an Instagram Live while she was at a pro-Palestine protest where the phrase “From the river to the sea, Palestine is free” was chanted. The same day, the State of Israel’s official Twitter account posted a screenshot of the Instagram Live. “When celebrities like Bella Hadid advocate for throwing Jews into the sea, they are advocating for the elimination of the Jewish State. This shouldn’t be an Israeli-Palestinian issue. This should be a human issue. Shame on you,” the tweet read. The tweet also received backlash.
The Forward writes about the criticism on the use of the phrase, “Dismissing or ignoring what this phrase means to the Palestinians is yet another means by which to silence Palestinian perspectives. Citing only Hamas leaders’ use of the phrase, while disregarding the liberationist context in which other Palestinians understand it, shows a disturbing level of ignorance about Palestinians’ views at best, and a deliberate attempt to smear their legitimate aspirations at worst.”
When celebrities like @BellaHadid advocate for throwing Jews into the sea, they are advocating for the elimination of the Jewish State.
This shouldn't be an Israeli-Palestinian issue. This should be a human issue.
Bella Hadid’s sisters, Gigi and Alana, also posted their support for their sister through Instagram stories today. Gigi shared filmmaker Vin Arfuso’s story about how the people who call for death of Jewish people do not represent the Palestinian cause. She also added that the chant is for “peace, coexistence, and equality.” Judging from this, it seems likely that Bella Hadid’s deleted story was posted of her own accord.
Alana Hadid, resharing Gigi’s story, added, “There’s so much to be said about the phrase ‘from the river to the sea’… But suffice to say, when myself and my family and friends say it, the meaning attached to it is freedom [and] not annihilation.”
More than a week after the first of a wave of Israeli airstrikes was launched in Gaza, the conflict between Israel and Palestine continues. The Palestinian Ministry of Health recorded a death toll of 197 and at least 1,235 injuries yesterday. Despite the cries from citizens for an end to the hostilities, the attacks are escalating.
Gigi Hadid posted her reply to an Israeli woman on her Instagram: “I condemn anti-Semitism. I am not trying to kill you, nor would I ever want that. I do not wish any more deaths upon Israelis, just as I feel about Palestinians. There are also Jewish Palestinians and Christian Palestinians as there was coexisting with my father’s Muslim Palestinian family when he was born in Palestine in 1948. I wish you peace.”