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American media embroiled in racist scandals over Gaza, Native Americans

This week, The New York Times ran a full page ad that condemned part-Palestinian models Gigi and Bella Hadid and British-Albanian popstar Dua Lipa for showing solidarity with the people of Palestine.

“Bella, Gigi and Dua, Hamas calls for a second holocaust. Condemn them now (sic),” read the headline of the advertisement, which took the form of a letter to the three prominent stars. The advert was organized, produced and paid for by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the head of the World Values Network.

The ad, which ran on Saturday in the main section of the newspaper, named Lipa and the Hadid sisters as “mega-influencers” who have “accused Israel of ethnic cleansing” and “vilified the Jewish State.” 

The “Levitating” hitmaker took to her social media to set the record straight and slam the organization for alleging that she is anti-Semitic for her pro-Palestine stance.

“I utterly reject the false and appalling allegations that were published in The New York Times advertisement taken out by the World Values Network,” she wrote in a lengthy text shared with her Twitter and Instagram followers.

“This is the price you pay for defending Palestinian human rights against an Israeli government whose actions in Palestine both Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem accuse of persecution and discrimination,” she added.

“I take this stance because I believe that everyone — Jews, Muslims and Christians — have the right to live in peace as equal citizens of a state they choose,” Lipa wrote.

The popstar, who is dating Gigi and Bella’s younger brother Anwar Hadid, stated that the World Values Network used her name “shamelessly” to “advance their ugly campaign with falsehoods.”

She concluded by saying: “I stand in solidarity with all the oppressed people and reject all forms of racism.”

Tensions spiked in the area in May due to Israel’s bombardment of Palestinians in Gaza after IDF forces stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque and settlers attempted to forcibly evict families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem.

The death toll from the Israeli aerial campaign against Gaza, which ended after a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, has risen to 248, including 66 children and 39 women, the Palestinian Health Ministry said on Friday.

Many celebrities have taken to social media to post pro-Palestinian messages, including singers Zayn Malik and The Weeknd as well as actor Mark Ruffalo.

CNN is cutting ties with former Republican senator and current TV analyst Rick Santorum over disparaging comments he made about Native American culture.

On CNN, Santorum was a senior political commentator who was often tasked with giving the Republican point of view during campaign coverage. His parting ways with the network was confirmed Saturday by Alison Rudnick, vice president of HLN Communications and CNN Diversity and Inclusion.

He sparked controversy in an April 23 speech before the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth organization. Santorum said immigrants created a nation based on the Judeo-Christian ethic from a blank slate.

“We birthed a nation from nothing,” he said. “Yes, there were Native Americans, but there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”

The comment prompted Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indians, to call him “an unhinged and embarrassing racist who disgraces CNN and any other media company that provides him a platform.”

“To correct the record, what European colonizers found in the Americas were thousands of complex, sophisticated, and sovereign tribal nations, each with millennia of distinct cultural, spiritual and technological development,” she wrote in a statement.

Sharp called on CNN to fire Santorum or potentially face a boycott from more than 500 tribal nations and its allies worldwide.

Santorum later said on Chris Cuomo’s CNN show that he “misspoke” in the sense that it wasn’t clear that he was speaking in the context of the founding of the United States government.

“People say I’m trying to dismiss what happened to the Native Americans,” he said. “Far from it. The way we treated Native Americans was horrific. It goes against every bone and everything I’ve ever fought for as a leader in the Congress.”

Santorum’s comments have garnered blowback before, especially his views on gay marriage and homosexuality. In 2003, he infuriated gay rights advocates by appearing to compare homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality

Source: Arab News

Written by The Levant