The Hadids have openly condemned the oppression of Palestinians by the state of Israel for some time, clashing with the state’s official social media accounts on more than one occasion. Amid the current escalation of violence in Gaza, things are no different. In fact, Israel’s social media tactics – including twisting statements made by Gigi Hadid – has now been credited with influencing reported death threats against the entire Hadid family.
At the weekend Gigi Hadid, who is half-Palestinian, shared an infographic to her Instagram Stories that urged followers not to conflate support for the Palestinian people with antisemitism or support for Hamas. “There is nothing Jewish about the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians,” reads the original post. “Condemning the Israeli government is not antisemitic and supporting Palestinians is not supporting Hamas.”
Shortly after, the official Instagram account for the state of Israel weighed in on the statement, posting a different version of the infographic, edited to say that “there is nothing valiant about Hamas’ massacre of Israelis”. “Condemning Hamas for what it is (ISIS) is not anti-Palestine,” the statement continues, “and supporting Israelis in their fight against barbaric terrorists is the right thing to do.”
The post also called out Gigi directly, saying: “Have you been sleeping the past week? Or are you just fine turning a blind eye to Jewish babies being butchered in their homes? Your silence has been very clear about where you stand. We see you.”
The Israeli government’s public response is typical of its tactics so far, which have often included latching onto celebrities or popular memes to spread its message and misinformation, as well as the use of dehumanising language that minimises the devastation of Gaza and the deaths of Palestinian people. It also overlooks the fact that Hadid has condemned the October 7 attacks on civilians by Hamas. “While I have hopes and dreams for Palestinians, none of them include the harm of a Jewish person,” she writes in a statement shared via Instagram on October 10. “The terrorising of innocent people is not in alignment with and does not do any good for the ‘Free Palestine’ movement.”
According to TMZ, Gigi Hadid has received a wave of death threats (alongside Bella, Anwar, and their parents) since speaking out against the Israeli government’s violence in Gaza. These have reportedly come via email, social media, and their personal phones, with their numbers leaked online over the last week. The content apparently includes graphic descriptions of their executions. Mohamed Hadid is said to be considering a report to the FBI, which has already recorded a spike in violence against both Jewish and Muslim Americans.
Following a familiar pattern, the surprise attacks by Hamas were quickly met with a disproportionate response from Israel’s Netanyahu government, which has continued over the course of the last week. Its airstrikes have killed thousands of Palestinians, reportedly targeting hospitals and ambulances, with almost half of Gaza’s population displaced from their homes. Critical resources, like water, food, and electricity, have also been blocked due to the Israeli government’s “complete siege” of the region.