On Saturday, the New York Times published a shocking full-page advertisement paid for by Rabbi Shumley Boteach, founder of the right-wing pro-Isreal organization, World Values Network. It has since faced major backlash from both the public and the victims of the ad themselves for placing the sensationalist headline “Hamas calls for a second Holocaust. CONDEMN THEM NOW,” over pictures of Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, and Gigi Hadid — three celebrities who have been vocal about their support for Palestine during the the Isreali apartheid.
On his personal platforms, Boteach furthers his narrative by disgustingly dubbing the three women a part of the “Hamas Influencer Brigade,” their passionate activism being diminished into “terror-splaining” by him.
Dua Lipa responded on her social media platforms, stating that she “utterly reject[s] the false accusations” made by the World Values Network, who “are shamelessly using [her] name to advance their ugly campaign with falsehoods and blatant misrepresentations of who [she] is and what [she] stands for.” Furthermore, the Grammy award-winning singer went on to disprove the New York Times ad’s claims of anti-semitism by saying she “stand[s] in solidarity with all oppressed people and forms of racism,” and that the slander she faced was “the price you pay for defending Palestian human rights against an Isreali government whose actions in Palestine both Human Rights Watch and the Isreali human rights group B’Tselem accuse of persecution and discrimination.”
The Hadid sisters have not yet responded directly to Boteach’s ad. However, Gigi slammed previous claims of anti-semitism when it pertained to her support for Palestine, recently posting on her Instagram that she “condemn[s] anti-semitism” and “[does] not wish any more deaths upon Isrealis, just as [she] feel[s] about Palestenians.”
Similarly, Bella, who has been speculated to lose her Dior campaign over her strong pro-Palestenian stance (said rumor has since been disproved by her sister in an Instagram story), recently stated that she “will not stand to hear people talk badly about Jewish people through all of this.” She clarified that her activism is about “humanity, not religion” and about “freedom in Palestine.”
The New York Times has faced heavy criticism from the public for their hypocrisy in and history of spreading biased falsehoods in their media. One user asked how this ad was even published, since their advertising policies state they don’t publish ads that “advance baseless claims or conspiracy theories.”
Another Twitter user recalled the time Trump took out an ad to call for the execution of the “Central Park Five,” who were actually innocent.
Others pointed out the blatant misogyny in the deliberate silencing of the three women’s voices.
One Twitter user made the powerful point that influential figures using their platform to speak on what is right makes slanderous silencers like Boteach fearful and desperate enough to put out ads as ridiculous as he did, which really signifies a win for the Palestenian cause.
“The New York Times basically made an executive decision to slander and put @DUALIPA, @GiGiHadid and @bellahadid in harm’s way. I hope they sue. And I hope Palestinians find some hope in the sheer fright of the people that approved and put this ad out. The world is waking up.” — Shahmir Sanni (@shahmiruk) May 23, 2021
We stand for Dua, Gigi, and Bella’s rights to use their voices and platforms to advocate for the rights of the Palestenian people, and we condemn the New York Times’ decision to intimidate and supress their efforts by running the Boteach propaganda ad.