NYT faces backlash over ad accusing Gigi, Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa of anti-semitism over Palestine support

NYT faces backlash over ad accusing Gigi, Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa of anti-semitism over Palestine support
3 min read
23 May, 2021
The New York Times was slammed over a full-page advert accusing Gigi and Bella Hadid, along with Dua Lipa, of anti-semitism over their support of Palestinians during Israel's Gaza bombardment, that killed over 200 people, including 22 children.
Gigi Hadid is one of several celebrities targeted by the ad [Getty]

The New York Times was at the centre of controversy after it published a full-page advert that called Gigi and Bella Hadid, along with singer Dua Lipa, "anti-semitic" for their support of Palestinians during Israel's Gaza 11-day bombardment, that killed over 200 people, including 66 children.

The advert read: “Bella, Gigi and Dua. Hamas calls for a second Holocaust. CONDEMN THEM NOW”.

In the rambling ad, which appeared in the main section of Saturday's print, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the head of the pro-Israel World Values Network, named Lipa and the Hadid models as three "mega-influencers" who have "accused Israel of ethnic cleansing" and "vilified the Jewish State".

In response, Lipa blasted the organisation, which paid for the ad, saying it used her name "shamelessly" to "advance their ugly campaign with falsehoods and blatant misrepresentations".

The three women are the targets of the ad [Getty]
The three women are the targets of the ad [Instagram grab]

Lipa took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to reject "the false and appalling allegations" and said the World Values Network twisted what she stands for.

"I stand in solidarity with all oppressed people and reject all forms of racism," she wrote.

The New York Times is facing backlash for allowing such an ad to be published in the paper.

"Aside from the complete lack of advertising standards from @nytimes for this quite incredible, baseless smear campaign against @DuaLipa@BellaHadid & @GigiHadid (@FTC Eyes), becoming quite clear that pro-Israel, pro-apartheid, anti-Palestinian lobby, is cracking under the pressure," wrote one Twitter user.

"The New York Times should be ashamed of themselves for running a hit piece against Dua Lipa, Gigi Hadid & Bella Hadid," another user wrote. “Articles like these are posted to incite violence & to silence female voices speaking up for Palestinian human rights. They mask the reality of ethnic cleansing.

Many are encouraging the three women to sue the paper, accusing the advert of being libellous.

This isn’t the first time The New York Times has been in hot water over controversial ads.

People compared Saturday's NYT ads with those paid for by Donald Trump in 1989, which were advocating for the death penalty for five black and Latino boys wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in New York City in a racially charged case.

At the time, then business mogul Donald Trump took out several full-page ads calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty – and in 2019 the former US president stood by his statements, despite their innocence.

Many celebrities, including the singer John Legend, Zayn, Roger Waters, The Weeknd and Mark Ruffalo, had taken to social media to post pro-Palestinian messages.

The devastating 11-day bombardment on Gaza by Israel had claimed the lives of at least 248 Palestinians, including 66 children.

An estimated 72,000 Palestinians have been displaced, while humanitarian officials say the damage to property and infrastructure could take years to rebuild.