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Bella Hadid says her advocacy for Palestine cost her career opportunities
18 August 2022

New York – Nisaa FM - New York City (QNN)- Palestinian-Dutch supermodel Bella Hadid said her outspoken advocacy for Palestine has cost her career opportunities and even relationships.

In an exclusive interview with Noor Tagouri’s Rep podcast on August 15, Hadid stated that she “had so many companies that stopped working with me. I have friends that completely dropped me,” due to her advocacy for her homeland, Palestine.

“I don’t know if I’m ready today. I have this overwhelming anxiety of not saying the right thing and not being what everybody needs me to be at all times, but I’ve also realized that I have done my education enough,” Hadid said at the top of the interview.

She added, “I know my family enough. I know my own history enough, and that should be enough for coming to talk with my girlfriend about things that mean a lot to both of us.”

The interview considers “how Public Opinion affects the lives of Palestinian people, as well as the rest of us. To examine how Public Opinion determines what we think and feel, we focus on Palestine, not as an issue, but as a people.”

The story guides include: Bella Hadid, Aymann Ismail, Dr. James Zogby, Nadine Naber, Peter Beinart, and Dalia Mogahed.

Hadid noted in the interview that she realized at a young age that people wouldn’t necessarily embrace her identity as a proud Palestinian woman.

Hadid said, “When I was 14, I wrote, “Free Palestine,” on my hand literally with flowers in paint on my hand. And I was being called names and being immediately blasted as a person of hatred for another people. But all I was talking about was freeing my father’s people, my people who are deeply hurting at the moment and not only that, like we’re witnessing their pain, were witnessing it happen. Still, I can’t speak about it? Okay.”

Hadid noted that this “was the start of me attempting to be vocal about the Palestinian cause.”

But a recent interaction with an Israeli woman in the streets of New York City has made her realize she’s not afraid to speak up anymore.

“I was just leaving lunch, and this woman came up to me and was like, 'I just moved to New York from Israel recently, and I told myself that if I ever saw Bella Hadid I would walk up to her and ask why she hates me so much,’” Hadid said, adding that she responded openly, saying that she actually welcomed the conversation, telling the woman that she didn’t hate her and inviting her to speak her mind. “I’m not scared of anything, but I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to combat whatever she had to say to me,” Hadid said. “But I realized in that conversation, it never had to be combative. All it had to be was two girls talking about their history and hopefully finding a common denominator, which is that we want nobody to die.”

Bella also recalled being called a “terrorist” by the head of the football team in middle school in the eighth grade. She said she “never knew who Bella actually was until I reconnected with my Palestinian side, to my family, where I felt this like depth of passion and pain through stories and through being able to sit in your truth and speak your truth, you’re almost in some ways, healing generational trauma. Asking my dad for the first time about stories.”

Hadid also noted that she “had so many companies stop working” with her and even “friends that completely dropped” her, “like even friends that I had been having dinner with at their home on Friday nights for seven years, like now just won’t let me at their house anymore.”

Commenting on the many full-page New York Times ads she’s targeted by, Hadid said,” In theory like that disregarded so many years of work and so many lives that have been lost. And so much that has happened because they just undermined all of us to the leaders of a terrorist organization.”

She added that this was “really disappointing” for her “because we all really have taken time and money, subscriptions to read something that we really felt was powerful, had integrity and educational,” adding that the paper “sold their soul.”