In your face

US Muslim blogger turns down Revlon award over Gal Gadot role

Internet celebrity MuslimGirl says her rejection is due to ‘vocal support of the IDF’s actions in Palestine’ by Israeli actress who is company frontwoman

Michael Bachner is a news editor at The Times of Israel

A popular Muslim author, entrepreneur and social media star has rejected an award from Revlon after Israeli actress Gal Gadot was declared the frontwoman for the cosmetics giant’s latest advertising campaign.

In her rejection of the Changemaker Award, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh — known among her fans and followers as MuslimGirl —  accused the “Wonder Woman” star of backing “the oppression of women and girls” in supporting the Israel Defense Forces.

The Muslim blogger was to be honored for challenging stereotypes of Muslim women and for her writing on politics and various other subjects.

On Tuesday, the iconic makeup company said Gadot is to become the “Global Brand Ambassador” for its new “Live Boldly” campaign, which its says is designed to “inspire women to express themselves with passion, optimism, strength and style.”

“As much as this means to me and I would love to be there to celebrate with you, I cannot accept this award from Revlon with Gal Gadot as the ambassador,” wrote the American-born blogger, who is of Palestinian and Jordanian origin. “Her vocal support of the Israel Defense Forces’ actions in Palestine goes against’s morals and values.”

“I can’t, in good conscience, accept this award from the brand and celebrate Gal’s ambassadorship after the IDF imprisoned a 16 year-old girl named Ahed Tamimi last month, an activist who is currently still incarcerated,” she wrote. She was referring to a Palestinian teenager who was filmed slapping and assaulting soldiers in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, as well as encouraging terror attacks against Israelis.

“I think we are in a moment where we must persist that women’s empowerment includes ALL women,” Al-Khatahtbeh wrote to Revlon. “From the bottom of my heart, I feel I would not embody the meaning of the Changemaker Award if I were to accept in these circumstances.”

“This shouldn’t have to be said, but we can’t accept role models that support the oppression of women and girls in other parts of the world,” added Al-Khatahtbeh to her 46,000 followers. “Especially after we just celebrated MLK Jr. and as we approach the one year anniversary of the Women’s March, we all have an URGENT obligation to talk back, speak our truths, and insist on the right side of history.”

The blogger and author is a vocal supporter of the Palestinians and frequent critic of Israel. In December, after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, she posted an image of a man wearing a scarf with the colors of the Palestinian flag with Jerusalem in the background and added: “Jerusalem belongs to Palestine. End of argument.”

On January 8, Al-Khatahtbeh commented on the new Israeli law barring supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign from entering the country, saying: “I heard I got banned from Israel today.”

“In honor of the occasion here’s my Palestinian mother’s old passport which clearly states her city of birth: Jerusalem,” she wrote, alongside the photo.

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