Gigi Hadid catches flak from both sides of the divide over Insta story mentioning Palestinian boy Ahmad Manasra
Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in retaliation to the events of October 7 has polarised the entire world, with one side’s proponent heavily disapproved by the other, and vice versa.
However, in something super rare these days, Palestinian-American supermodel Gigi Hadid has managed to unite both the sides albeit not in the manner she would have wanted.
The model has caught flak from both the set of supporters over an Instagram story and her subsequent clarification.
The incident stems from an Instagram story on Saturday when Hadid, in an attempt to highlight Israeli atrocities on children, mentioned Ahmad Manasra — a Palestinian, who was arrested in 2015 at the age of 13 in connection with the stabbing of two Israelis.
Manasra was arrested, convicted and sentenced to twelve years over allegations of being involved in the stabbing of the Israeli pair — one of which himself was a 13-year-old boy.
While his sentence was reduced to nine and a half years, Manasra was kept in solitary confinement for more than two years despite a report by a psychiatrist from Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) that he suffers from severe mental health conditions.
After Hadid mentioned Manasra in her Insta story, she was accused of being “an anti-Semite” by pro-Israel supporters.
Following the backlash, Hadid issued a clarification, admitting that she had used a “wrong example” to make her point and expressed “regret”.
Her intent, she said, was to shed light on how the Israeli government undermines international law and emphasise that Palestinian children arrested by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) do not receive the same rights as Israeli children.
She reiterated her commitment to human rights and said, “Attacking any human, which includes Jewish people, is never ok. Taking innocent people hostage is never ok. Harming someone because they are Jewish is never ok. It is wrong.”
She conveyed her desire for freedom, humane treatment of the Palestinians as well as safety for the Jewish people.
Hadid, who is of Palestinian heritage, said her awareness of the systematic mistreatment of the Palestinians at the hands of Israel comes from her own family’s experience of being pushed out of their generational house in the late 1940s.
She acknowledged the responsibility that comes with influence, adding that as a human she may make mistakes but is committed to being accountable for them.
She vowed to share her thoughts more constructively in future, aiming to draw attention to international law and human rights violations without contributing to misinformation or promoting hate.
However, Hadid’s acknowledgment that she regretted posting Manasra’s story and that it was a “wrong example” was not taken well by supporters of the Palestine cause, who accused her of betrayal and appeasement.
Advocate for Palestine cause
Hadid actively posts about Palestine on her social media platforms. Not long ago, she posted the video of a boy from Gaza expressing his delight regarding a temporary truce agreed between Israel and Hamas.
In another social media post on November 27, Hadid spoke against Israel’s atrocities and illegal occupation. Reflecting on her family’s history, she recounted their displacement from their ancestral home in 1948.