A week ago, Bella Hadid posted a photograph of herself on Instagram waving the Palestinian flag and surrounded by fellow pro-Palestine protestors in New York. The model, who is half-Palestinian, has long been vocal on the issue, but even more so in the last few weeks, during which violence has devastated Gaza and Israel. As of Saturday, 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, have died. In Israel, rocket fire killed at least 12 civilians, including two children.
Bella is amongst several celebrities and influencers who have denounced the violence, including her sister Gigi Hadid and singer Dua Lipa, who have also taken to social media to advocate for the existence of Palestine.
Their advocacy has been polarising. Many followers have applauded their solidarity, but others have accused each of anti-semitism. Amongst the latter are Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and the World Values Network, who commissioned a full-page advertisement in the New York Times, published in their Saturday print edition.
The long-winded ad equated the Hadid sisters and Lipa to Hamas, Palestinian militants, and called to “condemn them now”. Underneath a photograph of the three women, each is incriminated of spreading libel and anti-semitic propaganda.
Now, Lipa has responded to these accusations, taking to her Twitter account to say that she rejects “these false and appalling allegations”. She went on to write that the ad was “the price you pay for defending Palestinian human rights”.
“I stand in solidarity with all oppressed people and reject all forms of racism,” said Lipa, who is the girlfriend of Bella and Gigi’s brother, Anwar Hadid.
The ad was vastly criticised by journalists and other Twitter users, who suggest that it was just another tactic to silence any Israeli opposition. Palestinian-American writer and political analyst Yousef Munayyer wrote that those “who support Israeli apartheid have relied on smearing and intimidating those who speak up for years”. Others have pointed out that the vilification of the women is dangerous.
This comes alongside rumours of Bella being dismissed by Dior and Michael Kors, with who she has a major deals. However, the news has been flagged as misinformation as a result of a viral TikTok. Diet Prada reported that anonymous sources can attest to Dior standing by Hadid for her unequivocal support of Palestinian liberation.