A full-page New York Times ad linked the Pro-Palestinian activism of famous singers, Dua Lipa, Gigi Hadid, and Bella Hadid with anti-Semitism, genocide, and terrorism. It also said that they had connections with Hamas, a militant group retaliating against Israel’s aggression.
Lipa slammed the New York Times by the predictable behavior of western media influenced by Israel’s economic power. Despite Human Rights Watch declaring Israel as an apartheid state based on historic facts, the US and its media continue to fail in calling out Israel for its atrocities on Palestine people.
How New York Times Ad Reveals Israel’s Influence in Media
Recently, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Quraishi also pointed out the same fact in an interview with CNN. Quite predictably, CNN’s anchor got offended and instantly called him out that he was making an anti-Semitic remark. Even after the interview, she continued to slam Pakistan for calling out Israel’s behavior with Palestinians, while shifting the narrative towards Pakistan staying quiet on the matter of China’s oppression of the Uyghur community because of the monetary benefits it gets from China.
The majority of the public agreed with Shah’s remarks because the factually incorrect defensive argument of CNN anchor proved that Israel does have heavy influence over major mainstream media organizations. Many celebrities have also stood up for the Palestine cause following Bella Hadid’s activism in solidarity with Palestinians. Although few have already received punishment for that including Bella, who lost her contract with Dior. On the other hand, those who stood with Israel did not lose anything.
Similarly, in the case of the New York Times ad, the company did not yet receive any punishment for publishing a hateful article towards three female artists.
Obscuring the Meaning of Anti-Semitism
It was not only CNN’s anchor but every Israel sympathizer had only one argument to deflect the discussion of whether Israel should be held accountable for its treatment of Palestinians. They use the label of anti-Semite to counter everyone who criticizes Israel while in fact anti-Semitism is specifically related to persecuting Jews based on their religion.
Anti-Semitism was extremist in Europe in the Middle Ages when Christian crusaders massacred Jews based on their belief that the entire Jewish community conspired to kill Jesus Christ. It gave birth to the tradition of persecution of Jews that carried on for centuries. Even after 21st Century Anti-Semitisms in Europe kept on increasing, Europeans believed that Jews collectively controlled the whole world and its monetary system.
Some of the Muslim community also agreed with that and hated Jews as a whole. All of that was Anti-semitic but in recent discussions, the critics of the New York Times ad were majorly slamming the Israeli government, forces, and supporters instead of collective Jews.
Israel’s current criticism is mainly because of its forced displacements and random attacks on Palestinians and their culture.
Anything to Suppress as Much Voices as They Can
Many noted that when Pakistani FM said Israel had deep pockets and it controlled the media, it never involved religious slur. He called out the economic power of Israel due to which several nations and western media decided to sideline Israeli oppression and focused on highlighting retaliation strikes from Palestine’s side. Therefore, they have proved themselves that such a statement is not anti-Semitic by trying to spin the narrative in their favor.
According to reports, Israel lost 12 lives including children while more than 200 Palestinians including children and combatants were killed in the recent attacks. Moreover, 500,000 Palestinians have been displaced in forced evictions by Israeli forces. The western media faced criticism that time as well for making headlines that acquitted Israel of accountability and negated facts. This is why those who actively care about helping Palestinians get their inherent right, will not be bothered by incidents like New York Times ad.