Popstar and part-time social commentator Rihanna found herself in hot water today after she posted a message on her Instagram condemning the loss of life of both Palestinians and Israelis in the recent clashes between the two sides. Islamist social media users took to Twitter in order to show their displeasure regarding the message, which they perceived to be anti-Palestinian because it took into account the loss of Israeli lives as well as Palestinian lives. They accused the famous singer of “both-siding” the issue, i.e. accusing both Palestinians and Israelis of the conflict, when, according to them, only Israel is the aggressive party.
“My heart is breaking with the violence I’m seeing displayed between Israel and Palestine! I can’t bear to see it!” wrote Rihanna, in a seemingly non-controversial message.
However, Islamists were quick to strike against the seemingly peaceful message. “Rihanna is giving such “all lives matter-energy. “I’m disappointed. It’s not a conflict!! It’s one-sided”, wrote a Twitter user. This sentiment was popular online, amassing over 1,400 retweets and 7,200 likes on Twitter.
Rihanna is giving such “all lives matter energy. “ I’m disappointed. It’s not a conflict!! It’s one sided pic.twitter.com/jTtcQbV5Bs— Asraa (@asraa_alb123) May 13, 2021
Another tweet took issue with the fact that Rihanna added the word “innocent” with Israeli, somehow implying that innocent Israeli civilians cannot be victims of Palestinian violence. This tweet was then quote tweeted by a Palestinian activist with #ShiekhJarrah in their name. She then goes on to dutifully lecture Rihanna, taking issue with the “false equivalency” of Israeli and Palestinian lives.
did this mf just add innocent before israeli ??? pic.twitter.com/SKE5VNUGHk— Nour 🇵🇸 (@NourDajanii) May 13, 2021
Hey @rihanna Palestinians don’t have bomb shelters — we don’t have any protection. There is no shelter. Palestinians in Gaza have nowhere to hide and nowhere to go. Palestinians have no military, no nuclear weapons, we’re not bankrolled by billions of US dollars. Happy to discuss https://t.co/Iq3onP7wcc— Jennine #SaveSheikhJarrah (@jennineak) May 13, 2021
One social media user refused to buy any upcoming Rihanna albums, telling the singer to keep her album to herself.
Rihanna has commented on the Israel-Palestine issue before, famously tweeting “#Free Palestine” in 2014 before eventually deleting it after backlash. Her fans did not forget to remind Rihanna of this fact.
rihanna girl what happened to save palestine back in 2014???? pic.twitter.com/IKaeUVQSCv— yaseen 🅴 (@headfirstrep) May 13, 2021
One Twitter user did not pass up the opportunity to tell Rihanna how disappointed she was.
this celebrities choosing to be neutral and refusing to see the truth I’m disappointed on u Rihanna but not surprised pic.twitter.com/27TxS4ph85— Bilquis⁷ (@bilquis7_) May 13, 2021
The conflict between Israel and Palestine escalated when Palestinian terror unit Hamas fired hundreds of rockets at Jerusalem and central Israel, and the Israeli Defense Forces responded back in kind. The main reason behind the current conflict is the Sheikh Jarrah property dispute, a dispute which can lead to the evictions of around 300 Palestinians from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood.