Gigi Hadid apologizes for claiming Israel abducts, rapes and tortures Palestinians

Supermodel of Palestinian descent says she ‘did not fact check or deeply think’ before sharing posts against Israel, which also included false accusation of organ harvesting

Gigi Hadid attends the Victoria's Secret New York fashion week kickoff event, at the Manhattan Center in New York City on September 6, 2023. (Angela Weiss/AFP)
Gigi Hadid attends the Victoria's Secret New York fashion week kickoff event, at the Manhattan Center in New York City on September 6, 2023. (Angela Weiss/AFP)

JTA — Palestinian-American supermodel Gigi Hadid has apologized for writing on Instagram that Israel is the only country that keeps children as prisoners of war and that Israel had abducted, raped and tortured Palestinians for years “before October 7.”

“I shared something that I did not fact check or deeply think about prior to reposting,” Hadid, 28, wrote in a new post on Tuesday to her 79 million Instagram followers. “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.”

Her original post included a photo of Ahmed Mansara, who at age 13 in 2015 stabbed a police officer and a 13-year-old boy in East Jerusalem. Hadid also shared a video on her Instagram that claimed Israelis have long harvested the organs of dead Palestinians without their consent.

Hadid and her younger sister Bella, also a famous model, have harshly critiqued Israel in posting about the Israel-Hamas war, which started on October 7 after 3,000 Hamas and other Gaza terrorists rampaged through southern Israel, slaughtering some 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and abducting around 240. But Hadid has also called on activists to keep Jews safe while advocating for Palestinians, and she emphasized that in her apology on Tuesday.

“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,” she wrote.

Jewish music mogul Scooter Braun criticized Hadid for including Mansara in her first post. Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli chimed in, too, calling Mansara a terrorist on Instagram.

“I know people mean well but when you say a child was abducted when it turns out it was a teenager who went out and stabbed two random innocent civilians including a 12 year old on camera and then stated ‘I wanted to stab Jews.’ Let’s get our facts right before we post to 78 million people,” Braun wrote.

Hadid is one of the world’s most famous models, having appeared on the covers of most top magazines and in top fashion shows around the globe. Her high profile makes her one of the most prominent critics of Israel in pop culture.

Her father Mohamed Hadid, a well-known luxury real estate developer in Los Angeles, was born in Nazareth. His family fled to Lebanon during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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