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10 Nov, 2022 11:52

Adidas and Balenciaga branded hypocrites over Ye ‘replacement’

Pro-Israel voices are unhappy with Bella Hadid’s photoshoot for the brands
Adidas and Balenciaga branded hypocrites over Ye ‘replacement’

Bella Hadid is fronting a new ad campaign promoting a collection by French fashion brand Balenciaga and German sportswear giant Adidas. But some argue that hiring the outspoken Palestinian-American supermodel right after breaking ties with Kanye West over his tweet about going “death con 3 on Jewish people” was a faux pas.

Both firms parted ways with the rapper and entrepreneur, who now goes by Ye, amid a flurry of accusations of anti-Semitism that he faced after his Twitter rant last month. Hadid is a vocal critic of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians, which her detractors call anti-Semitic in essence. Her involvement in the promotion of the ‘Balenciaga x Adidas’ collaboration was revealed last week.

“They have simply just replaced one anti-Semite for another, only underscoring it was never about values or tackling racial hatred for these brands, but only about profits,” pro-Israel activist Arsen Ostrovsky told World Israel News, calling the decision “the height of hypocrisy.”

Author and Manhattan-based rabbi Mark Wildes lamented that American corporations, officials, and celebrities showed “muted reactions” to controversial statements about Israel when they came from figures such as Hadid, compared to the blowback that Ye faced.

“We have a responsibility to ensure we are not putting our political biases ahead of what is right. Only then will corporations like Vogue, who continually highlight [Bella Hadid and her sister Gigi] on their magazine covers, follow suit,” he wrote. Gigi, who is also a supermodel, uses her public clout to advocate for the Palestinian cause.

When the Ye controversy broke out, the supermodel said on social media that allowing “any form of antisemitism to slip by … would be a disservice to my friends, the families I have grown up with, the people I love and work with, myself, and even the Palestinian cause as a whole.”

The post didn’t directly mention Ye but was taken by many as her reaction to his words.