Palestinian-American supermodel Gigi Hadid stirred controversy with her Instagram Story, labeling Israel as the “only country in the world that keeps children as prisoners of war.” Pro-Israel groups denounced her post as antisemitic, leading Hadid to remove it. In a subsequent statement, she apologized for not fact-checking, disappointing Palestine supporters who accuse her of succumbing to “Zionist pressure.”
Hadid’s original post centered on Ahmad Manasra, a 22-year-old Palestinian prisoner, and criticized Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children. While apologizing, she clarified her intention to shed light on the plight of Palestinian children arrested by the IDF. However, critics argue that her apology suggests bending to “Zionist friends,” reigniting discussions about the Israel-Palestine conflict and celebrity activism.
The backlash against Gigi Hadid intensified as she faced accusations of deleting posts that didn’t align with her alleged “Zionist friends.” Critics argue that her actions prioritize condemning antisemitism over discussing Palestinian issues. The model’s initial post, referencing Manasra’s case, triggered criticism for spreading false information and antisemitism, prompting renowned figures like Bar Refaeli and Scooter Braun to voice their disapproval.
Despite her apology, some argue that Hadid’s backtrack diminishes the impact of her initial call-out and undermines the credibility of her activism. The incident highlights the challenges celebrities face when engaging in geopolitical discussions and the scrutiny they endure from both sides of contentious issues.
Gigi Hadid, of Palestinian descent, maintains a history of supporting the Palestinian cause. Her recent social media controversy raises questions about the responsibility and challenges associated with using a celebrity platform for geopolitical activism. Hadid emphasizes the importance of human rights issues while navigating the complexities of the Israel-Palestine conflict.