Bella Hadid took on an Israeli far-right leader for saying Jewish rights are more important than Palestinian rights. Now the far-right is hitting back.

Bella Hadid and Itamar Ben-Gvir
Bella Hadid (left) criticized Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir on Instagram.VALERY HACHE/ Amir Levy/Getty images
  • Israel's national security minister made some controversial remarks about Palestinians this week.

  • Bella Hadid criticized the minister in a now-deleted Instagram post.

  • The minister lashed out at Hadid on Friday, calling her an "Israel hater."

Supermodel Bella Hadid criticized Israel's far-right national security minister over his comments about Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, sparking an online tiff between the two.

Itamar Ben-Gvir said Jewish settlers' right to life and safe travel in the occupied West Bank is more important than the rights of Palestinians during an interview with Israeli media on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. His remarks came after two Palestinian attacks on Israelis in recent days.

Itamar Ben Gvir, Israel's new far-right Minister of National Security.
Itamar Ben Gvir, Israel's Minister of National Security.ATEF SAFADI/Getty Images

"My right, the right of my wife and my children, to move around Judea and Samaria is more important than freedom of movement for the Arabs," Ben-Gvir said, referring to the biblical name for the West Bank. "The right to life comes before freedom of movement."

Ben-Gvir's comments prompted a response from Hadid, whose father is Palestinian, in a now-deleted Instagram Stories post on Friday.

"In no place, no time, especially in 2023 should one life be more valuable than another's. Especially simply because of their ethnicity, culture or pure hatred," the post read.

The outlet reported that Hadid also posted a video from an Israeli rights group showing Israeli soldiers in the West Bank telling residents that Palestinians are not allowed to walk on a certain street because it's reserved for Jews.


On Friday, Ben-Gvir responded with a pointed statement on X, formerly called Twitter, that referred to Hadid as an "Israel hater."

"I saw yesterday that you took a segment of mine from an interview, and distributed it to the whole world in order to make me out to be racist and dark," the translation of the post read. "I invite you to Kiryat Arba, to see how we live here, how every day Jews who have done nothing wrong to anyone in their lives are murdered here."

He added: "So yes, the right of me and my fellow Jews to travel and return home safely on the roads of Judea and Samaria outweighs the right of terrorists who throw stones at us and kill us."

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu also weighed in later that day, supporting Ben-Gvir's remarks in a statement posted to X.

"Israel allows maximum freedom of movement in Judea and Samaria for both Israelis and Palestinians," the statement read.

The statement said Palestinian militants "take advantage of this freedom of movement to murder Israeli women, children and families by ambushing them at certain points on different routes."

Representatives for Israel's Ministry of National Security, the Prime Minister's Office, and Hadid did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

On Friday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said there are 645 obstacles, including checkpoints and roadblocks restricting movement for Palestinians in the West Bank. The statement said more than half the obstacles have a "severe impact" on Palestinians by restricting their access or movement to certain areas.

Hadid has advocated for Palestine in the past, including in 2021 when she joined a "Free Palestine" march in New York City." She and her sister, Gigi Hadid, have both shared social media posts in support of Palestine.

"I love my family, I love my Heritage, I love Palestine," she wrote in a now-deleted post. "I will stand strong to keep their hope for a better land in my heart. A better world for our people and the people around them. They can never erase our history. History is history!"

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