International supermodel Gigi Hadid has walked back a recent anti-Israel post after being accused of spreading disinformation, admitting that she didn’t fact-check an account about a Palestinian teen jailed for a stabbing spree against Israelis.
Ms. Hadid, the daughter of Israel-born Palestinian real-estate developer Mohamed Hadid, acknowledged Tuesday on Instagram that she didn’t check out the story and deleted the post as a result.
“As someone of Palestinian descent, the endless heartbreaking news and imagery coming out of Gaza has been painful and often overwhelming,” she said. “It is important to me to share real stories about the hardships that Palestinians have endured and continue to endure, but this weekend I shared something that I did not fact check or deeply think about prior to reposting.”
She referred to her now-deleted Friday screed saying that “Israel is the only country that keeps CHILDREN AS PRISONERS OF WAR,” citing as an example a claim that Ahmad Manasra was “abducted” by Israelis in 2015 at age 12 and has endured “solitary confinement despite his severe health condition.”
In reality, Manasra was 13 when he and his 15-year-old cousin Hassan stabbed a 20-year-old security guard and critically wounded a 13-year-old boy in east Jerusalem.
Security cameras captured footage of the knife-wielding attackers.
Hassan was shot and killed by police, while Ahmad was struck by a car. He was later convicted of two counts of attempted murder and sentenced to 12 years in prison, which was reduced to 9 1/2 years by the Israeli Supreme Court.
Ms. Hadid, who has 79 million followers on Instagram, was accused on social media of spreading “antisemitic blood libels” and “falsely accusing Israel of abducting, torturing, raping children.”
“Gigi Hadid is a blatant antisemite,” said the Stop Antisemitism account on X. “Any company that works with her going forward is complicit in her Jew hatred.”
Her initial post also said “abduction/rape/humiliation/torture/murder of Palestinians years and years and years before Oct 7 2023.” That was the date that Hamas terrorists launched a surprise attack on Israeli civilians, killing at least 1,200 and prompting Israel to declare war.
“Oh, @gigihadid. Poor Ahmed went to Jerusalem ‘to stab Jews’ and succeeded in seriously injuring a 13 year old Israeli which is what landed him in prison,” said Honest Reporting, the pro-Israel media watchdog. “But do go on.”
The same day Hamas began releasing Israeli hostages, supermodel Gigi Hadid posted a photo on Instagram falsely portraying Palestinian terrorist Ahmad Manasra as a “child prisoner of war” to her 80 million followers. Manasra was imprisoned when he was 13 for going on a stabbing… pic.twitter.com/o0WCgKIs4T
— Canary Mission (@canarymission) November 26, 2023
Ms. Hadid said Tuesday that “I wanted to show the ways in which international law is being undermined by the Israeli government.”
“In this case, I was trying to highlight how Palestinian children who are arrested by the [Israeli Defense Forces] are often not given the same rights as an Israeli child accused of the same crime would,” she said. “Unfortunately, I used the wrong example to make that point and I regret that.”
She also emphasized that “attacking any human, which of course includes Jewish people, is NEVER OK.”
Gigi Hadid, 28, and her sister Bella Hadid, 27, two of the most famous fashion models in the world, were born in th U.S. and grew up in Southern California.
Some commenters sided with Gigi Hadid with posts such as “she was merely stating facts” and “no shame in defending the land from the colonizer.”
Amnesty International has accused Israeli authorities of “inhuman cruelty” by keeping Ahmad, now 21, in solitary confinement, saying that he has mental-health conditions including schizophrenia and that his “life is at risk if he remains in prison.”