A group of Palestinian youngsters has come together to write a letter to Gigi Hadid, expressing support for her after she faced severe backlash for standing against the Israel brutality in her ancestral home.
The Victoria Secret angel posted, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. For me, this is not about religion or one against the other – it’s about the greed.”
The letter posted on Teen Vogue, urged the 23-year-old model to keep voicing her concerns. Here’s the full letter.
“Dear Gigi Hadid,
We, a group of young Palestinians across the globe, are writing to you today to express our love and solidarity. A recent article in People quotes you as saying that, after vicious attacks by Israeli troops at the Gaza fence, you desire to keep “your opinions to yourself.”
Every single one of us knows the pushback and anxiety that comes with speaking out for our people and their basic rights. Many of us have been targeted in some way because of our activism or speaking out; from being blacklisted, to threatened with losing our jobs, to facing threats of violence, and much more.
Anti-Palestinian groups whose work it is to intimidate supporters of Palestinians use every tool to silence our voices. They count anyone who steps back from speaking truth to power as a victory for their defense of a brutally violent apartheid regime.
We are here to encourage and support you. Please don’t let anyone silence your voice and your truth. Like all Palestinians, you carry the weight of your family and the history of all of your people who are persecuted simply for existing.
We can’t imagine how stressful being in the public eye can be and, as individuals who deal with various forms of trauma, anxiety, and depression (among other conditions) as a result of the struggles of our families, communities, and people back home, we understand if you decide to hold back.
But whatever you decide to do, know that things are changing, with many young people now supporting Palestinians. Celebrities such as Judd Apatow, Ava DuVernay, Yara Shahidi, Rowan Blanchard, and more are speaking up for Palestinians. So are elected officials, including Patrick Leahy,Bernie SandersBetty McCollumBarbara LeeDianne Feinstein.Everyone on this earth, Palestinians should be able to express care for their people’s welfare without being attacked. While some are set on making that difficult, the chorus of voices rising up in support gives us the hope necessary to continue our struggle for freedom, justice, liberation, and one that is beautiful in its universality.
Groups like StandWithUs, which attacked you online, are pro-Israel advocacy organizations and do not represent the entire public, and official polls show support for Israel in the US has dropped for some groups over the years. In fact, the group also attacked Natalie Portman after she pulled out of an event because of her opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
They do not represent the growing number of young Jews in college in the US who question and critique Israel’s policies. Rather, this organization is part of a network that seemingly hopes to crush advocacy for the Palestinian people.
This network is well-resourced and can be quite loud. It’s possible that these groups come down so swiftly because they sense a shift, with Israel’s actions losing support among people of color and millennials.
Whenever you or your sister Bella comment on Palestine, Palestinians in the diaspora and in the region rejoice. When you speak on an issue that is close to your heart, it is inspiring to your following and the many young people who look up to you. Even if only a fraction of your fans were to better understand and support Palestinian justice as a result, your voice is incredibly impactful and meaningful.
Whether in the homeland or in diaspora, Palestinian voices have been silenced for far too long. We understand the difficult circumstances you are facing and send you our love and support whatever your choice. But if you decide to keep on and are uplifted by the growing solidarity with our people’s struggle for freedom, as we are, we are honored to raise our voices alongside yours.