Model Bella Hadid appeared at the forefront of the tiny Hollywood fraternity vocal against the atrocities sanctioned by the Israeli state on the Palestinian people. She participated in a pro-Palestine protest in NYC — shouting slogans, Keffiyeh on her head, flag in her grip — and has been furiously posting about the human rights violations on social media. But a noticeable shift in her position has left fans stunned.
She posted a now deleted Instagram Story and tweet where she called for "peace, co-existence and equality", with accompanying flags of the two states, Israel and Palestine.
This post is nothing out of the ordinary for ordinary Hollywood A-Listers who have been on the fence about calling Israel out, but Hadid is no ordinary A-Lister. She's half Palestinian and has been vocal about the Israeli occupation of Palestine for years.
Her wishy washy post came three days after the Israeli state's barely-not-a-parody official account on Twitter had called her out for her initial support. Hadid attended a protest in NYC where she and others present chanted "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free", something residents of Israel (or at least the government of Israel's Twitter account) believes to be anti-semitic. The tweet prompted further criticism of her from Israeli supporters.
Though Hadid has since deleted her "neutral" post, the post featuring her at the protest remain up on her Instagram account. "It's free Palestine till Palestine is free!" she had said.
The sentiments she shared previously are noticeably disconnected with her latest post.
So, what's really happening here?
Some social media users are speculating it has to do with Dior.
Hadid has been a long-term partner of Dior, appearing in multiple campaigns as the face of the brand and becoming one of its most recognisable brand ambassadors. After her support for Palestine made headlines and social media feeds, pro-Israel comments flooded Dior's comment sections on Instagram. People began calling for a boycott of the brand for its perceived 'anti-semitism'.
People believe this is reflective of some of the pressure Hadid might be under. Though a lot of people also rushed to the account to pledge their loyalty to the brand and supporting its choice of model.
We're not saying her Dior deal is the reason for her neutral post but it's indicative of the cost of supporting Palestine in the West. As we're learning on Instagram and Twitter, Israeli supporters are deeply embedded in the world's business elite and living in Pakistan, we are rather disconnected from what's at stake for supporting Palestine in the West.
We're not justifying Hadid's sudden switch in stance (or maybe not since she deleted her posts), nor do we claim to know what happened. But people are suspicious about why one of Palestine's most outspoken celebrity advocates suddenly changed her tune.
Others were done with celebrity activism.
This is definitely not the last we're hearing of the matter. The Hadids are very outspoken about the situation in Palestine and we expect there will be more posts soon.