Harris’s niece urges fight against ‘Palestinian oppression’ – despite gays in Gaza being imprisoned


Kamala Harris‘ niece has raised eyebrows with an Instagram post urging people who care about LGBT rights and women’s issues to defend Palestine – despite the country’s rulers being among the most repressive in the world.

Meena Harris, a 36-year-old lawyer and businesswoman, on Wednesday night shared her opinions, re-posting a widely-shared image discussing the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Harris has, in the four months since her mother’s sister became vice president, managed several times to ruffle feathers in the White House – both with her new clothing brand, that Biden administration lawyers told her came too close to profiting from her aunt, and with an ill-advised tweet about a mass shooting. 

‘One cannot advocate for racial equality, LGBT & women’s rights, condemn corrupt and abusive regimes and other injustices yet choose to ignore the Palestinian oppression,’ she posted.

‘It does not add up. You cannot pick and choose whose human rights matter more.’

Meena Harris, 36, is the daughter of Vice President Kamala Harris’s sister

The post had previously been shared by Palestinian-Dutch model Gigi Hadid, among others.  

Harris commented alongside the post: ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah.’

Harris’s activism did not sit well with many.

It ignored the fact that Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian rulers of Gaza, maintain a law criminalizing homosexuality – a crime which is punishable by 10 years in prison.

In the West Bank, which is ruled by Fatah, a rival, secular opposition to Hamas, being gay is not a crime, but it is widely disapproved of.

Israeli artillery in action as the escalation continued Wednesday. At least 70 people have died

Israeli artillery in action as the escalation continued Wednesday. At least 70 people have died

A fire rages at sunrise in the southern Gaza strip early on Wednesday morning

A fire rages at sunrise in the southern Gaza strip early on Wednesday morning

Another multi-storey building was destroyed in Gaza on Wednesday by an Israeli air strike

Another multi-storey building was destroyed in Gaza on Wednesday by an Israeli air strike

Parliamentary and presidential elections – the first since 2006 – were scheduled to take place in May and July, but in April were postponed indefinitely by Mahmoud Abbas, the 85-year-old Palestinian leader.

Amnesty International has accused the Palestinian rules of attempting to ‘crack down on dissent’, accusing them in their most recent report, out in May last year, of ‘stifling freedoms of expression and assembly, attacking journalists and detaining opponents.’

Amnesty wrote: ‘Security forces in both areas used unnecessary and/or excessive force during law enforcement activities, including when imposing lockdown measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

‘Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees were committed with impunity. 

‘Women faced discrimination and violence, including killings as a result of gender-based violence. 

‘Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people continued to face discrimination and lacked protection. 

‘In the West Bank, authorities made widespread use of administrative detention without charge or trial. In Gaza, civilians continued to be tried before military courts. Courts in Gaza handed down death sentences.’

Vice President Harris with Meena, whose business interests and activism sparked concern

Vice President Harris with Meena, whose business interests and activism sparked concern

Harris turned off comments on her post, in anticipation of criticism.

One woman remarked: ‘What’s hilarious cause it’s so dumb is @Meena Harris posting about their support for “the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah” and turning off the comments under her photo/post. 

‘What are you afraid of, people? The same with Gal Gadot. What R U afraid of people saying, things?’ 

Harris appears to be reveling in her new-found fame, appearing on The View and the Today show, and profiled this year in Vanity Fair and by The New York Times. 

In mid February she was asked by White House lawyers to stop using her aunt to boost her new clothing brand.  

After the election, White House lawyers told her she could not produce any products that used the vice president’s name or likeness, a White House official reportedly told The Los Angeles Times.

She also embarrassed her aunt by tweeting after the Boulder, Colorado supermarket shooting in March that ‘violent white men’ are the ‘greatest terrorist threat’ to the U.S. 

After police revealed that the gunman was of Syrian descent, Meena deleted the tweet explaining that she had assumed the perpetrator was white since he was ‘taken into custody alive’ and that a majority of mass shootings in the country are ‘carried out by white men’. 

Harris’ post came as Israel’s president warned of a civil war between the country’s Arabs and Jews on Wednesday as fury and fear over shelling exchanges with Palestinian militants in Gaza ignited violence in Israel’s streets.

Appeals by religious and political leaders for calm, and police reinforcements and mass-arrests, appeared to do little to stem riots in several ethnically mixed towns. Israeli TV showed what it described as ‘near-lynchings’ of Jewish and Arab motorists.

The strife was touched off by sometimes violent pro-Palestinian protests by members of the Arab minority incensed at an Israeli air barrage launched on Gaza on Monday after Islamist Hamas-led militants fired salvoes of rockets across the border.

A synagogue and cars were torched in the Tel Aviv suburb of Lod, motorists were stoned on some roads, and Palestinian flag-waving protesters scuffled with police in northern Haifa port.

By Wednesday, police said the assaults appeared to be more by Jews against Arabs – including one seen on live TV as he was dragged from his car and pummeled by a mob in coastal Bat Yam.

The broadcast on the top-rated Channel 12 cut to a phoned-in appeal by President Reuven Rivlin to ‘please stop this madness’.

‘We are endangered by rockets that are being launched at our citizens and streets, and we are busying ourselves with a senseless civil war among ourselves,’ said the president, whose role is largely ceremonial.

Israel’s leaders insist that they are responding to terror attacks launched by Hamas on their legitimate territory, and President Joe Biden has emphasized that Israel is entitled to defend itself from attack.

Bella Hadid is slammed for posting anti-Semitic ‘explanation’ of Middle East crisis that lies about history and states Israel is not a country and is merely a colonizer of Palestinian land    

Supermodel sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid have angered many in the Israeli community with an Instagram post that critics said was anti-Semitic.

Bella, 24, and Gigi, 26, are vocal in their support for the Palestinian cause, and have attended marches and demonstrations.

In 2018, Gigi said on Twitter: ‘I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. For me, this is not about religion or one against the other — it’s about the greed,’ using the hashtags ‘Free Palestine,’ ‘Free Gaza,’ and ‘Coexist,’ with a peace-sign emoji. 

She later added: ‘My intent is never to further separate groups in hatred. I’m not anti-anyone. I am only pro-coexistence.’ 

Gigi (left) and Bella Hadid with their father Mohamed, who was born in Palestine in 1948

Gigi (left) and Bella Hadid with their father Mohamed, who was born in Palestine in 1948

When Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Bella wrote: ‘The treatment of the Palestinian people is unfair, one-sided and should not be tolerated. I stand with Palestine’. 

Their father Mohamed Hadid, 72, is a Palestinian born in Nazareth in November 1948, four months after his city was captured by Israeli forces. The family fled to Syria, and ultimately to Washington DC. He has Jordanian and American citizenship.

On Tuesday, as the conflict in the Middle East escalated, Bella shared a post on Instagram which attempted to explain, in her eyes, the conflict.  

In the cartoon, a woman is telling her friend: ‘There is no ‘fighting’. There is only Israeli colonisation, ethnic cleansing, military occupation and apartheid.

‘When I say ‘Israel’, I am referring to a group of people, a group of settlers, who are colonising Palestine.’  

The post gives a highly subjective view of the situation, and critics responded immediately.

‘You speak as if you know what you are talking about. Inform yourself please,’ said one woman.

Bella Hadid shared the cartoon, with several slides explaining her point, on Instagram. She is wrong to describe Israel as a colony, because Jewish people had already been in the region for centuries. She is incorrect in describing ethnic cleansing and a military occupation, because the redrawing of boundaries was done under UN auspices. She is also incorrect in describing the region as being under apartheid, because Israelis and Palestinians are free to choose their own leaders and live under their own rules.

Bella Hadid shared the cartoon, with several slides explaining her point, on Instagram. She is wrong to describe Israel as a colony, because Jewish people had already been in the region for centuries. She is incorrect in describing ethnic cleansing and a military occupation, because the redrawing of boundaries was done under UN auspices. She is also incorrect in describing the region as being under apartheid, because Israelis and Palestinians are free to choose their own leaders and live under their own rules.

The woman says that there is no 'fighting' - which fails to acknowledge the fact that Hamas launched rockets at Tel Aviv and toward Jerusalem early on Thursday, as it has done every day this week since Monday. Israel has responded with an overwhelming show of force. Hamas began the current tit-for-tat barrages, with their firing of rockets on Monday at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in retaliation for Israeli police clashes with Palestinians near al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, during the fasting month of Ramadan

The woman says that there is no ‘fighting’ – which fails to acknowledge the fact that Hamas launched rockets at Tel Aviv and toward Jerusalem early on Thursday, as it has done every day this week since Monday. Israel has responded with an overwhelming show of force. Hamas began the current tit-for-tat barrages, with their firing of rockets on Monday at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in retaliation for Israeli police clashes with Palestinians near al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, during the fasting month of Ramadan

‘So many factual incorrect things here,’ said a man.

Another urged: ‘Go read a book,’ while one simply commented: ‘Lies.’

‘This is wildly biased,’ said another. ‘Seems more like a way to shame Jews rather than creating any real change for your brothers and sisters.’

Another replied: ‘This ain’t it, Bella. Only causing more of the lucrative divide.’ 

The first picture in the eight-slide series shows the woman asking her friend: ‘So aren’t Israelis and Palestinians fighting over religion?’

The friend then provides her deeply-partisan response.   

Israel is a diverse country, founded in 1948, and much like the United States is ethnically very mixed.

Israelis and Palestinians have clashed over claims to the Holy Land for decades. 

Large numbers of Jews began moving to Ottoman Palestine – a predominately Arab region – following the 1896 publication of Theodor Herzl’s The Jewish State, which promoted the idea of a haven for Jews in their ancient homeland to escape anti-Semitism in Europe. There has been a community of Jews in the region for milennia.

The exact population balance is hard to tell, because at the time people frequently avoided the census. According to the Ottoman census of 1878, the Jerusalem, Nablus, and Acre districts were home to 403,795 Muslims, representing 85.5 per cent of the population.

Christians made up 9.2 per cent (43,659); Jewish people 5.3 per cent (25,000).

So Bella is wrong to describe Israel as a colony, because Jewish people had already been in the region for centuries. 

The Holocaust increased the pace of arrivals with Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, and many emigrated from Eastern Europe and Russia.

In 1947, after years of Arab-Jewish violence, the UN General Assembly voted for the establishment of two states in Palestine – one Jewish and the other Arab. 

Bella is incorrect in describing ethnic cleansing and a military occupation, because the redrawing of boundaries was done under UN auspices.

The woman 'explains' that the Middle East was entirely peaceful before the creation of Israel in 1948 - apparently forgetting the wars under Phoenicians, Romans, the Caliphate and the Ottomans. The region has been a crossroads of cultures for many millennia, and land has been fought over since time immemorial. After World War One the region was carved up by the European victors, and the conflict and unrest continued. It has never been 'entirely peaceful'

The woman ‘explains’ that the Middle East was entirely peaceful before the creation of Israel in 1948 – apparently forgetting the wars under Phoenicians, Romans, the Caliphate and the Ottomans. The region has been a crossroads of cultures for many millennia, and land has been fought over since time immemorial. After World War One the region was carved up by the European victors, and the conflict and unrest continued. It has never been ‘entirely peaceful’

Nablus, 30 miles north of Jerusalem, has been controlled by Romans, Crusaders, Byzantines, Ottomans, the British, Jordanians and, since the 1967 War, by Israel. Palestinians living in Nablus are granted by law the same rights as all other citizens

Nablus, 30 miles north of Jerusalem, has been controlled by Romans, Crusaders, Byzantines, Ottomans, the British, Jordanians and, since the 1967 War, by Israel. Palestinians living in Nablus are granted by law the same rights as all other citizens

Shortly after the UN ruling, the Jewish community in Palestine declared Israel an independent state, prompting hundreds of thousands more Jews to emigrate, and precipitating a war launched by neighboring Arab states.

She is also incorrect in describing the region as being under apartheid, because Israelis and Palestinians are free to choose their own leaders and live under their own rules. 

For their part, Palestinian Arabs say Jews have usurped their ancestral homeland with help from Western powers, including the United States and the United Kingdom. 

The current conflict is notable for pitting Israelis against Israelis, in addition to the depressingly familiar exchange of rocket fire.

Israel’s 21 per cent Arab minority – Palestinian by heritage, Israeli by citizenship – is mostly descended from the Palestinians who lived under Ottoman and then British colonial rule before staying in Israel after the country’s 1948 creation.  

Most are bilingual in Arabic and Hebrew, and feel a sense of kinship with Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

They often complain of systemic discrimination, unfair access to housing, healthcare, and education services.

Israel’s domestic unrest has been welcomed by Hamas, one of whose spokesmen urged Arab citizens to ‘rise up’ against ‘our enemy and yours’.

Her posts came as Israel’s president warned of a civil war between the country’s Arabs and Jews on Wednesday as fury and fear over shelling exchanges with Palestinian militants in Gaza ignited violence in Israel’s streets.

Appeals by religious and political leaders for calm, and police reinforcements and mass-arrests, appeared to do little to stem riots in several ethnically mixed towns. Israeli TV showed what it described as ‘near-lynchings’ of Jewish and Arab motorists.

The strife was touched off by sometimes violent pro-Palestinian protests by members of the Arab minority incensed at an Israeli air barrage launched on Gaza on Monday after Islamist Hamas-led militants fired salvoes of rockets across the border.

A synagogue and cars were torched in the Tel Aviv suburb of Lod, motorists were stoned on some roads, and Palestinian flag-waving protesters scuffled with police in northern Haifa port.

It is true that Israel is supported by the United States, Britain and France. Australia and Canada are strange additions to the list, because they were part of the British Empire - so, by her argument, 'colonies'. What she fails to mention is that Israel needs the support of these much older countries because many of her neighbors invaded in 1948 to try and prevent her existing

It is true that Israel is supported by the United States, Britain and France. Australia and Canada are strange additions to the list, because they were part of the British Empire – so, by her argument, ‘colonies’. What she fails to mention is that Israel needs the support of these much older countries because many of her neighbors invaded in 1948 to try and prevent her existing 

There is no denying that Israel is a young country, founded in 1948. But she is offering a very blinkered explanation of the situation if she does not explain the broader perspective

There is no denying that Israel is a young country, founded in 1948. But she is offering a very blinkered explanation of the situation if she does not explain the broader perspective

By Wednesday, police said the assaults appeared to be more by Jews against Arabs – including one seen on live TV as he was dragged from his car and pummeled by a mob in coastal Bat Yam.

The broadcast on the top-rated Channel 12 cut to a phoned-in appeal by President Reuven Rivlin to ‘please stop this madness’.

‘We are endangered by rockets that are being launched at our citizens and streets, and we are busying ourselves with a senseless civil war among ourselves,’ said the president, whose role is largely ceremonial.

Israel’s leaders insist that they are responding to terror attacks launched by Hamas on their legitimate territory, and President Joe Biden has emphasized that Israel is entitled to defend itself from attack.

However, the model had little care for the Israeli point of view.

‘It has always been #freepalestine. ALWAYS,’ she said, captioning her post – which has been ‘liked’ by 1.7 million people.  

‘I have a lot to say about this but for now , please read and educate yourself. This is not about religion. This is not about spewing hate on one or the other.

‘This is about Israeli colonization , ethnic cleansing , military occupation and apartheid over the Palestinian people that has been going on for YEARS!’

Israel cannot be held responsible for the displacement of the millions of Palestinians around the world - many of whom left of their own accord. Israel's proclamation of independence in 1948 invited the Palestinians to remain in their homes and become equal citizens in the new state

Israel cannot be held responsible for the displacement of the millions of Palestinians around the world – many of whom left of their own accord. Israel’s proclamation of independence in 1948 invited the Palestinians to remain in their homes and become equal citizens in the new state 

Palestinians who remained in Israel after 1948 have had their rights to 'liberation, freedom and justice' upheld by the Israeli government. Those who moved into the designated Palestinian areas have elected their own governments, which have made their own laws

Palestinians who remained in Israel after 1948 have had their rights to ‘liberation, freedom and justice’ upheld by the Israeli government. Those who moved into the designated Palestinian areas have elected their own governments, which have made their own laws

She concluded: ‘I have been told my entire life that who I am : a Palestinian woman – is not real. I’ve been told my father does not have a birth place if he is from Palestine. And I am here to say . Palestine is very much real and the Palestinian people are here to stay and coexist. As they always have.’

The post was also ‘liked’ by her sister, Gigi, who has also shared pro-Palestine posts.

‘One cannot advocate for racial equality, LGBT & women’s rights, condemn corrupt and abusive regimes and other injustices yet choose to ignore the Palestinian oppression,’ she posted.

‘It does not add up. You cannot pick and choose whose human rights matter more.’  

Yet it was Bella who was undeniably more active in the cause, posting a stream of pro-Palestine material.

The supermodel knew that she was opening herself to accusations of anti-Semitism: pro-Israel sides frequently argue that supporting Palestine is inherently anti-Semitic, because it questions the Jewish state’s right to exist, and therefore is against all Jews.

However, Bella anticipated the accusations.

She posted a video of Senator Bernie Sanders, during the 2020 election, in which he insisted that demanding an end to the violence was not anti-Semitic.

‘I want to make this very clear,’ Bella wrote.

‘Hate from either side is not okay – I do not condone it!!

‘I will not stand to hear people talk badly about Jewish people through all of this. This is about HUMANITY not about religion !!!! This is about freedom in Palestine.’



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