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Vogue magazine under fire for editing out Palestine from Gigi Hadid Instagram post

The publication has been criticised for editing a post praising Hadid's pledge to donate her earnings to people in Ukraine and Palestine
Gigi Hadid posted a statement on Sunday pledging to donate all her earnings from her autumn fashion shows in support of those in Ukraine and in Palestine (AFP)

Vogue magazine has come under fire for editing the word Palestine out of an Instagram post as it praised Palestinian-Dutch model Gigi Hadid's pledge to donate all of her Fashion Month earnings to people in Ukraine and Palestine. 

On Sunday, Hadid announced on Instagram that she would donate the entirety of her earnings from her autumn 2022 shows to "aid those suffering from the Ukraine war, as well as continuing to support those experiencing the same in Palestine." 

Vogue covered Hadid's announcement in an article titled "Gigi Hadid to Donate Fashion Month Earnings to Ukrainian Relief," which omitted any reference to Palestine. The magazine then dedicated an Instagram post to Gigi's pledge to donate, nearly verbatim quoting the model's statement and writing: 

Today, @Gigihadid announced that she will be donating all of her fashion month earnings towards relief efforts in Ukraine, 'as well as continuing to support those experiencing the same in Palestine'.” 

The post drew criticism for "fanning the flames of anti-Semitism," with responding that "While Gigi Hadid and crew are appropriating the Russian invasion of Ukraine to push their political agenda vilifying Israel, the Jewish nation instead is negotiating peace between the 2 nations. Appropriation of another person's suffering is a new low, come on!" 

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The next day, social media users were surprised to see that the photo caption had been changed to remove the quote from Hadid's original statement that mentioned Palestine, as well as an Instagram story covering the model's declarations at the end of her statement reading: "HANDS OFF UKRAINE. HANDS OFF PALESTINE. PEACE. PEACE. PEACE."

Prominent figures and social media users immediately criticised Vogue for its duplicity and "involvement in the racism against and erasure of Palestinians from their home, culture, history, and heritage". masri/status/1501296808491843589?s=20&t=V5reRX1ylSCDYPr18mTnsw 

Palestinian activist Mohammed El-Kurd called out the publication stating that “a mainstream media outlet has literally erased and obstructed the facts of a news item because Zionists did not like it. So much for journalistic integrity and ethics.” 

Similarly, Hadid's sister, Alana Hadid, commented on Vogue's edited post about Gigi's announcement, writing, "WOW, you removed Palestine. She is supporting both the crisis in Ukraine and Palestine”, ending it with her disappointment in how the publication was “bullied out of factual reporting”. 

One social media user drew attention to the "shameful" nature of Vogue's "whitewashing of Israeli Apartheid," stating that #PalestinianLivesMatter as well, even if they "do not make your pages and covers". 

Another noted the irony of using Hadid's Instagram post to "drive traffic and views and then changing it because Israeli keyboard warriors were tasked with calling you antisemitic," adding that "Israel has been working overtime since the @amnestyuk report was published."

Amnesty International recently released a groundbreaking report stating that Israel's discrimination against Palestinians amounted to the practice of apartheid, following similar reports from other human rights groups. 

Vogue's omission of Palestine from their caption follows increased attention paid by activists and critics to the biased and racist media coverage of the Ukraine conflict, which they argue demonstrates how some lives are deemed more valuable than others. 

Middle East Eye has reached out to Hadid and Vogue for comments but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

Along with Bella Hadid's comments on the lack of response to conflicts in the Muslim world, the recent Vogue controversy has created the impression that the double standard used in covering conflicts in Europe versus the Middle East is now blatantly obvious.  

This is not the first time the Hadid family has been subjected to online censorship for their views on Palestine. 

In 2020, Bella Hadid called out Instagram for removing one of her posts, where she shared a photo of her father’s passport, highlighting the section on place of birth, which read: "Palestine." She then stated that “you can’t erase history by silencing people. It doesn’t work like that".

She has also previously spoken out about the double standards surrounding the Palestinian issue, stating in one of her Instagram stories that "one cannot advocate for racial equality, LGBT, and women’s rights, condemn corrupt and abusive regimes and other injustices, yet choose to ignore the Palestinian oppression".

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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