Palestine has been in and out of the news cycle for the past few years, but rather than it becoming a topic of understanding and empathy, it seems to have become one of debate. Why though? Basic human rights should never be up for debate.
While a massive portion of the world continues to overlook the terror Israel is inflicting on Palestine, there are a handful of celebrities that have voiced their support for the oppressed even despite the backlash.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
In January 2022, Emma Watson, 31, took to Instagram to repost a snapshot taken from a Palestinian protest with the phrase “Solidarity is a verb” plastered across it. Alongside the political post, she also included a poem by Sara Ahmed which read:
“Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, or that our pain is the same pain, or that our hope is for the same future. Solidarity involves commitment, and work, as well as the recognition that even if we do not have the same feelings, or the same lives, or the same bodies, we do live on common ground.”
For some reason, this ruffled more than just a few feathers, specifically that of former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, and his bunch of Zionist-sympathisers.
Taking to Twitter, the fifty-year-old published a screenshot of Watson’s repost, captioning it: “10 points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite.”
Problematic and stupid. Long live Emma Watson.
Unapologetic Muslim mixed martial artist, Khabib Nurmagomedov, showed up for Palestine by posting this snapshot urging non-Muslims to stand up for Gaza. Thousands of his followers were appreciative that he spoke out on the issue, even despite getting intense backlash from some.
Mark Ruffalo has been a consistent speaker for Palestinian rights. From his earlier reposts of pro-Palestinian tweets to publicly calling out wrongdoings by other big Western names.
Recently, he slammed online financial company, PayPal, for refusing to provide service to Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank on Twitter.
“Friends: Paypal operates in Israel’s illegal settlements—but is refusing to provide service to Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank, in direct violation of UN guidelines. Join the international call to Paypal to end its baseless discrimination now,” he wrote.
Get ’em, Mark!
Bella Hadid has also been a long-standing activist for Palestinian rights. Using her Instagram platform where she has amassed over 50 million followers, she regularly speaks out about issues, often sharing videos and making her fans aware about what’s injustices are taking place.
During the Sheikh Jarrah movement, Hadid posted multiple snapshots of Israeli soldiers forcibly removing residents from their homes which ignited discussions further on socials. She also made sure she had her say during a week-long violent streak occurring outside Al-Aqsa during Ramadan.
And most recently, she called out people on their double standards when it came to war in the Western world as opposed to the Middle East.
Re-posting an emotional stance by @MustafaThePoet, she emphasised that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
The post itself discussed the ongoing war that Russia is subjecting Ukraine to, saying that “nothing should undermine the magnitude of their [Ukraine’s] suffering,” however we, as a society, should uphold the same outrage and empathy for Muslim countries suffering a similar fate.
The post also addressed the problems in China against the Uyghur people who are currently being detained in ‘internment camps.’
Similarly, Gigi Hadid, Bella’s older sister, has also been vocal about issues surrounding Palestine. Back in March 2022, she pledged to donate her earnings from next season’s catwalk shows to aid those in both Ukraine and Palestine.
“Having a set Fashion Month schedule has meant that my colleagues and I often present new fashion collections during heartbreaking and traumatic times in history. We don’t have control over most of our work schedules, but we would like to walk ‘for’ something. Following in the footsteps of my friend @micarganaraz, I am pledging to donate my earnings from the Fall 2022 shows to aid those suffering from the war in Ukraine, as well as continuing to support those experiencing the same in Palestine,” she wrote.
She continued: “Our eyes and hearts must be open to all human injustice. May we all see each other as brothers and sisters, beyond politics, beyond race, beyond religion. At the the end of the day, innocent lives pay for war- not leaders. HANDS OFF UKRAINE. HANDS OFF PALESTINE. PEACE. PEACE. PEACE.”
Twenty-six-year-old singer Dua Lipa has proved that you have to be vocal about Palestine if you stand for the freedom of all people.
On her Instagram story, she published multiple reposts of her support:
However, along with the Hadid sisters, the singer was accused of ‘antisemitism’ and vilifying Israel for their pro-Palestinian stance, being called an “unholy trinity of anti-Semitic bile” in a vile ad by the World Values Network published in The New York Times.
Lipa addressed this in a lengthy statement, slamming it as “blatant misrepresentation.”
Natalie Portman has also been an avid supporter of the Palestinian cause.
The actress has been asked multiple times about her position on the on-going ‘conflict’ between Israel and Palestine because of her Israeli nationality and Jewish faith and she has shut down all speculation.
One time, she also refused to accept an Israeli award out of protest.
The Genesis Prize, in its own statement, said “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her,” adding that “she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel.”
However, Portman clarified her positioning on Instagram stating: “Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation.”
She also spoke out when the deportation of Palestinians by the Israeli government was circling the air saying: “Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust,” she writes. “But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values.”