Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid Apologizes For Israel Misinformation

Model Gigi Hadid has issued a lengthy apology on social media, after coming under fire for sharing false claims that Israel is the "only country in the world" holding children as prisoners of war.

In a since-deleted Instagram post, Hadid highlighted Palestinian Ahmad Manasra as an example. Manasra was arrested by Israeli police back in 2015 at the age of 13 and sentenced to 12 years in prison for, along with his 15-year-old cousin, stabbing a 13-year-old boy and a 20-year-old Israeli security guard in Jerusalem. The sentence was later reduced to 9.5 years. His cousin was subsequently shot dead by police.

Model Hadid’s weekend post on the matter came as Gaza remains embroiled in an intense conflict between the Israeli military and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which carried out a bloody surprise attack on southern Israel on October 7, killing over 1,200 people, according to the Associated Press.

Palestinian militants also took more than 200 hostages, including a number of children, with their ultimate release being one of the primary goals espoused by the Israeli government. Subsequent action in Gaza by the Israeli military has killed over 13,000, The Associated Press reported.

Gigi Hadid
Gigi Hadid is pictured in London on July 20, 2022. The model has apologized for sharing a false claim that Israel is “the only country in the world that keeps children as prisoners of war.”DAVID M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES

Hadid, whose father is Palestinian, shared a statement with her Instagram followers on Tuesday, in which she sought to clarify her reasons for sharing the since-deleted post, in which she accused Israel of “abduction, rape, humiliation, torture, murder of Palestinians years and years before Oct. 7, 2023.”

“As someone of Palestinian descent, the endless heartbreaking news and imagery coming out of Gaza has been painful and often overwhelming,” she began her latest post. “It is important to me to share real stories about the hardships that Palestinians have endured and continue to endure, but this weekend I shared something that I did not fact check or deeply think about prior to reposting.

“I wanted to show the ways in which international law is being undermined by the Israeli government. In this case, I was trying to highlight how Palestinian children who are arrested by the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] are often not given the same rights as an Israeli child accused of the same crime would. Unfortunately, I used the wrong example to make that point and I regret that.”

California-born Hadid continued that “attacking any human, which of course 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. To want freedom and humane treatment for Palestinians and to also want safety for Jewish people can both be important to the same person—including myself.”

Stressing the importance in equality in legal proceedings, Hadid stated that “a Palestinian child, even if he is accused of a horrific crime, deserves the same rights that an Israeli child would have under the same circumstances.

“It is well documented, by credible human rights organizations, that there has been systemic mistreatment of the Palestinian people by the government of Israel,” she added. “I know these historical issues well because they are the history of my own family, Palestinians who were forced to flee their homeland in the late 1940s.”

After insisting that she does not “stand behind the spreading of misinformation,” and is against antisemitism, Hadid said that she “will continue to pray for the safe return of all hostages and peace and safety for the people of Gaza and Israel.”

The model and her sister, Bella Hadid, have been outspoken supporters of the Palestinian cause over the years, drawing both praise and criticism.

In October, the Israeli government hit out at Gigi Hadid on social media, after she criticized its treatment of Palestinians on Instagram.

Gigi Hadid’s Apology in Full

As someone of Palestinian descent, the endless heartbreaking news and imagery coming out of Gaza has been painful and often overwhelming. It is important to me to share real stories about the hardships that Palestinians have endured and continue to endure, but this weekend I shared something that I did not fact check or deeply think about prior to reposting.

I wanted to show the ways in which international law is being undermined by the Israeli government. In this case, I was trying to highlight how Palestinian children who are arrested by the IDF are often not given the same rights as an Israeli child accused of the same crime would. Unfortunately, I used the wrong example to make that point and I regret that.

My focus was intended to be on human rights issues. That is why I also want to reiterate that attacking any human, which of course 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. To want freedom and humane treatment for Palestinians and to also want safety for Jewish people can both be important to the same person—including myself.

No matter the crime, when speaking about democracy, everyone should have the same rights—and a Palestinian child, even if he is accused of a horrific crime, deserves the same rights that an Israeli child would have under the same circumstances.

It is well documented, by credible human rights organizations, that there has been systemic mistreatment of the Palestinian people by the government of Israel. I know these historical issues well because they are the history of my own family, Palestinians who were forced to flee their homeland in the late 1940s.

At the same time, I understand that with the power of my platform comes a huge responsibility. I’m human and I make mistakes. But I also hold myself accountable for those mistakes.

I do not stand behind the spreading of misinformation, and have always condemned using the Free Palestine movement as justification for anti-Semitism. I owe it to myself and my followers to gather my thoughts and share them in a more constructive way as I pursue my goal of bringing attention to violations of international law and human rights.

Meanwhile, I will continue to pray for the safe return of all hostages and peace and safety for the people of Gaza and Israel.

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