Israel’s security minister has criticized American model Bella Hadid after she critiqued his comments about the state of security in the West Bank.
Hadid, of Palestinian and Dutch descent, has been outspoken about her view on Palestinian rights. She criticized National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir for saying his right to freedom outweighs Arab’s freedom of movement.
Ben-Gvir was asked during an interview about the Israeli government’s ongoing efforts to prevent or stop terrorism and violent crime. Ben-Gvir lives in Kiryat Arba, a Jewish settlement near Hebron.
“I think [Defense Minister Yoav] Gallant is mistaken with his policy about ‘the fabric of life,’” en-Gvir told N12. “My right, the right of my wife, of my children to move around on the roads in the West Bank is more important than the right to freedom of movement of the Arabs – this is the reality, this is the truth.”
“My right to life precedes [their] right to freedom of movement,” he said.
Hadid posted a response on her Instagram story, saying, “In no place, no time, especially in 2023, should one life be more valuable than another.”
“Especially simply because of their ethnicity, culture or pure hatred,” Hadid wrote. She included a video of Ben-Gvir’s remarks from group B’Tselem, a left-wing Israeli group, per The Jerusalem Post. Hadid has over 60 million followers on Instagram.
Ben-Gbir responded on Aug. 25, writing on social media that Hadid is an “Israel hater.”
“I see you took a small cut of my interview and spread it to the world with the intention of making me appear racist and evil,” he wrote in a statement on X.
He invited Hadid to visit Kiryat Arba and witness the conditions and impact of the conflicts.
“It’s my right and the rights of my fellow Jews to travel to and from our homes on the roads of Judea and Samaria in peace, and it is greater than the rights of terrorists who throw stones at us and murder us,” he wrote.
“I will not apologize and I will not take my words back, I will say them a thousand more times,” added the official. “Am Israel Chai.”
“Palestinians have long railed against travel restrictions, including checkpoints, imposed on them by Israel in the West Bank, an area where they exercise limited self-rule and which they seek as part of a future state,” reports The Telegraph. “Violence in the West Bank has surged over the past 15 months, with frequent Israeli military raids, Palestinian street attacks and Jewish settler assaults on Palestinian villages. Since January, at least 188 Palestinians and 35 people in Israel have been killed in hostilities.”
Israel seized the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East conflict.
Hadid had previously angered Irasel with her public criticism.
The official Twitter account for the state of Israel shared an image of Bella at a pro-Palestine march in May of 2021, accusing her of advocating “throwing Jews into the sea.”
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