'If you want me to stop talking, they should stop killing': Bella Hadid on Instagram's Palestine censorship
Palestinian-American model Bella Hadid has used her voice to stand up for her fellow Palestinians in the past and she recently reminded her followers — particularly tagging Instagram — that she will continue to speak against the violence no matter how the social networking service may try to "censor" and shadow-ban her.
Hadid posted a series of videos of atrocities committed against Palestinians by the Israeli military and urged her followers to "watch every one of them." She then posed a question: "Which one of these people provoked this kind of attack?" The purpose was to prove that innocent people are being "terrorised for absolutely zero reason."
"If you really would like to silence me — just like the journalists — or really anyone trying to educate about Palestine, Instagram, I will continue to come forward with peace, showing factual information about how the IDF [Israel Defence Forces], Israeli government and settlers attack innocent Palestinians for no reason except for simply being Palestinian," the model wrote in the caption.
She termed it a "breach of human rights" and said if the social networking service continues to censor the people raising their voice for Palestine, it would be "the biggest form of bias and unjust censorship."
The model reminded her followers that all of this is real and has real consequences. "I am not here to make this up. Believe me, I do not want to have to post this kind of terror. These are not actors. These are real IDF soldiers (who are supposed to protect) and real Palestinian people with lives, families, jobs, history and souls," she said. "If you want me to stop talking, they should stop killing."
Hadid mentioned that the excuse for unprovoked attack she has frequently heard is that Palestinians were "asking for it" or that "they had a knife." She denied these accusations calling Palestinians peaceful people. "Absolutely not. As you can see here, these are peaceful people, most of the time with their children, praying or just … living."
She added that there can be extremists on both sides, as in any part of the world, but that does not merit the slandering of her people. "I will not continue to sit here and have my people's name be slandered as if they are constantly doing something wrong to deserve this kind of abuse," she added sternly. "Absolutely UNPROVOKED abuse. In their home and on their land that they have lived in for hundreds of years. Especially now, during the holy month of Ramadan."
"This is unprovoked," she concluded.
Hadid had also posted about Instagram's shadow-ban on her stories, being open with her followers about how she was being censored due to her pro-Palestine content. She posted a screenshot of a post with the option to reshare on her story not available, captioned, "Here we go again."
The model also reshared a Palestinian content creator's post about this "blackout" of Palestinian content, with Instagram labelling it "sensitive content." The content creator reminded her followers that no such media censorship was seen when it was Ukraine that was at the centre of violence.
"The sea of black sensitive content screens will turn into a sea of Palestinians sharing, educating and showing the world how we will never stop fighting for our human rights," they concluded.
It is extremely brave of Hadid to keep using her platform to raise her voice against injustice in Palestine and the general injustice against Muslims considering how she has been admonished for it in the past. The model has been vocal about Palestinians rights, discrimination against hijabi Muslims and the world's ignorance of violence in Muslim countries. Her stance has cost her some expensive brand deals and she has even been personally targeted by the Israeli government, her words twisted and called "anti-semitic." It is commendable that she risks it all to take a stand against what she believes is wrong and she sets an example for how an influencer crucially can impact very real situations.