Supermodel Bella Hadid criticized Israel’s far-right security minister. Now he’s lashing out at her

AP , Saturday 26 Aug 2023

US supermodel Bella Hadid has clashed with Israel's national security minister over his remarks about Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

Bella Hadid
Bella Hadid attends the God s Love We Deliver 16th annual Golden Heart Awards at The Glasshouse. AP

 

Israel’s far-right national security minister lashed out at supermodel Bella Hadid on Friday for criticizing his recent fiery televised remarks about Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

The 26-year-old star condemned Itamar Ben-Gvir's on Instagram after he expressed that the right to life and movement for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank trumped the right to movement for Palestinians.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 12, Itamar Ben-Gvir argued that his right to freedom of movement as a Jewish settler outweighs the same right for Palestinians.

“My right, the right of my wife and my children, to move around Judea and Samaria is more important than freedom of movement for the Arabs,” Ben-Gvir said Wednesday, using the Israeli name for the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian population has persistently opposed travel restrictions, including checkpoints, imposed by Israel in the West Bank - a region where they exercise partial self-governance under Israeli occupation.

Ben-Gvir, who resides in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba close to the West Bank city of Hebron, the largest Palestinian city, claimed that these restrictions were crucial for safeguarding his family's security.

Hadid, a supermodel and social media influencer whose father is Palestinian, shared an excerpt from Ben-Gvir’s interview with her 59.5 million followers on Instagram on Thursday, writing: “In no place, no time, especially in 2023 should one life be more valuable than another’s. Especially simply because of their ethnicity, culture or pure hatred.”

She also posted a video from leading Israeli rights group B’Tselem showing Israeli soldiers in the southern West Bank city of Hebron telling a resident that Palestinians are not permitted to walk on a certain street because it is reserved for Jews. “Does this remind anyone of anything?” she wrote.

In response, Ben-Gvir issued a statement on Friday labelling Hadid as an "Israel hater".

Ben-Gvir statement on television has drawn widespread criticism as commentators seized on it as proof of allegations that Israel is turning into an apartheid system that seeks to maintain Israel hegemony from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Protesters thronged outside Ben-Gvir’s home in a West Bank settlement Friday to condemn his remarks. The catchphrase “Sorry, Mohammad” became meme fodder for social media as critics posted it alongside videos of Israeli violence against Palestinians.

There are at least 645 checkpoints and roadblocks restricting Palestinian movement in the West Bank, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which closely tracks movement and access in the West Bank and Gaza, said Friday.

Over half the barriers severely hamper Palestinians in their efforts to go about their daily lives, the agency said

 

 

 

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