To speak or not to speak: Celebrities are facing backlash over Israel-Palestine social media posts

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Published Oct 17, 2023 at 02:47 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

In the wake of the recent deadly attacks between Israel and Hamas, several celebrities have faced controversy over their social media posts expressing their opinions about the ongoing conflict. The Israeli-Palestinian war has sparked intense debates and emotions worldwide, and public figures aren’t immune to the repercussions of taking a stance.

Reality TV star and makeup mogul Kylie Jenner found herself at the centre of a storm when she posted an Instagram Story expressing support for Israel. In her post shared on Saturday 7 October 2023, Jenner shared an image of Israel’s flag accompanied by the text: “Now and always, we stand with the people of Israel!”

However, she quickly deleted the post after receiving backlash from people supporting Palestine. Her post was met with strong reactions, with comments flooding her social media page, as people passionately voiced their opinions, often invoking the rallying cry, “Free Palestine.”

Gal Gadot, best known as Wonder Woman, was also faced with criticism after posting a series of pro-Israeli posts. In her posts, the actress wrote, “I stand with Israel, you should too.”

 

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A post shared by Gal Gadot (@gal_gadot)

Even Justin Bieber and Jamie Lee Curtis joined the ranks of celebrities who decided to be vocal on social media about the conflict by posting an Instagram story with a picture saying, “I stand with Israel.” However, both shortly deleted their respective post after receiving responses which pointed out that the picture shared was actually from Gaza, not Israel.

In response to this embarrassing revelation, Bieber and Curtis reshared a photo with the same message but without the controversial background picture. This situation underscores the potential dangers associated with celebrities resharing information during such delicate moments. It highlights how, even unintentionally, misinformation can be perpetuated by well-known figures, impacting the public’s understanding of complex issues and potentially furthering divisions.

 

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A post shared by Lady Bunny (@official_lady_bunny)

However, the impact of the ongoing conflict has reached farther than celebrity circles. Influencers such as Mia Khalifa have used their social media presence to share their opinions. “If you can look at the situation in Palestine and not be on the side of Palestinians, then you are on the wrong side, and history will show you that in time,” Khalifa shared on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Following this statement, Playboy announced that it would be cutting ties with Khalifa, a decision that reflects the wider implications that taking a stance on such a divisive issue can hurt one’s career and associations.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has deep-rooted historical, political, and humanitarian dimensions, that go far beyond the Hamas attack. It’s a complex issue that started over 70 years ago and opinions on it vary widely across the globe. As the conflict escalates, celebrities are finding themselves in the crossfire of an emotionally charged debate. While their intentions may be to show support or empathy for those affected, they are discovering that their influence also comes with consequences.

Another genuine concern has also been the rise in hate crimes. There have been some distressing incidents, including the tragic stabbing of a 6-year-old in Chicago, which is reported to be a Muslim hate crime. Additionally, there was another disturbing case in France where two Jewish men were also stabbed by an individual with suspected ties to Islamic radicalisation.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to be a hot-button issue with a long history of controversy. Public figures, including celebrities, face unique challenges when they decide to wade into such a sensitive and divisive matter. The responses from celebrities like Jenner, Gadot, Bieber, the Hadids, and Khalifa illustrate the far-reaching impact of expressing opinions on social media during times of intense geopolitical conflict.

Their experiences serve as a reminder that, in the age of social media, taking a stance on contentious issues can lead to passionate reactions and significant consequences. The conflict is far from over, and its impact on individuals and society remains a dynamic and evolving story…

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