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Ms Rachel: YouTube star faces backlash from Israelis for launching Gaza fundraiser

Popular educator launched a fundraiser for children in conflict zones such as Gaza, Sudan, Ukraine and DRC; but pro-Israel supporters accused her of being partisan
Ms Rachel, an influencer in early childhood education in the United States, has over 9 million subscribers on YouTube (Screengrab/YouTube)

The children's YouTube sensation Ms Rachel is known for her cheerful attitude, colourful outfits, educational games and songs for toddlers. 

But this week, the instantly recognisable social media performer became the target of pro-Israel supporters after she launched a fairly innocuous fundraiser for children in conflict zones, including Gaza.

"The idea is: I'll make videos for little ones and all the money raised on my end will go to Save the Children’s Emergency Fund, which will go to children living in conflict," Ms Rachel, whose real name is Rachel Accurso, said in a video posted on her Instagram.

The planned initiative, "Messages of Love To Children, For Children," would be on Cameo, a platform which allows users to purchase personalised videos, from which she would fundraise for Gaza, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ukaine.

"Hopefully I can make little ones smile by giving them a personal video," she continued. “Children should never experience the horrors of war."

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The response from most of her 10 million YouTube followers and other social media users was largely supportive.

So many people took Ms Rachel up on her offer that she had to pause sales through Cameo after she raised $50,000 within hours.

"Not all heroes wear capes. I'm truly in awe," one user commented.

"This is how you use your platform and influence, thank you for caring and loving everyone," wrote another.


Tag @Cameo ps of course i have made my own donations and am an ambassador for @Save the Children US #momsoftiktok #toddlermom #toddlers #cameo

♬ original sound - Ms Rachel

One Tiktok user commented "I don't think people quite realise how much emotional work it is to make these... 500 is huge. Just huge. Thank you Rachel."

However, not all of the responses were positive.

'The bullying is so bad'

Some pro-Israel users expressed anger with Ms Rachel’s advocacy for children in Gaza, interpreting it as a partisan stance in the ongoing war.

"Selective 'compassion'," said one user. "You could care less [sic] about Israeli children."

"Miss Rachel doesn't care about Jewish children," said another.

Several users simply replied with emojis of the Israeli flag, and announced that they would no longer be following her. Meanwhile, supporters of Ms Rachel's initiative countered that Israeli children have access to hospitals, food and international support while Palestinian children do not.

International aid organisations and charities have repeatedly underlined that Palestinian children are facing starvation, "indiscriminate killing",  torture and abuse.

After expressing that she had received bullying from several users, Ms Rachel turned off the comments feature on several of her recent Instagram posts and also released a video addressing the comments.

In the video, she appeared in a dark room, contrasting her usual bright and cheerful presentation. 

With visible emotion, she stated: "The bullying is so bad... saying I don't care about every child is so bad, but I can handle this. I see every child as I see my own. To do a fundraiser for children who are currently starving – who have no food or water – who are being killed – is human."

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society has reported that over 15,000 children have by killed by Israeli attacks on Gaza since the start of the current war.

Over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since then, the majority of whom are women and children.

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