Zayn Malik from One Direction showed his support for Palestine in a tweet recently and is now receiving death threats. It is clear that some of his fans expected him to either remain neutral or support Israel. It is a similar situation that Rihanna found herself in just a few weeks ago after using the hashtag #FreePalestine.
One Direction fans in Israel were disappointed at Malik’s decision to use the hashtag. One of the more milder responses to his tweet had a fan heartbroken that a someone she looks up to wanted her to die. However, this was just something she read between the lines. At no point did the singer state that he wanted anybody to die in the conflict. He was simply showing his support for the Gaza Strip.
It is a difficult time for all, and many celebrities probably struggle to decide which side they want to be on—and whether they should show their support for that side. Malik is not the first to receive backlash for his decision to publicly show his support. Rihanna opted to remove her “offensive” tweet and then posted something about just wanting the two warring communities to find peace.
Now there is the question of whether the Bradford-based singer will decide whether to take his own tweet down. So far, he has decided to leave it there. One Direction’s Malik continues to receive death threats for his Palestine tweet, including fans wanting him to kill himself for it. Others have suggested that he allows his own fans to do it for him.
Some fans have responded in support of the member of the five-piece band. They have raised the question of how tweeting in support of one means that that person wants the others to die. It does not, and some fans have simply read between the lines to find fault in the singer’s support.
There are some who believe that Malik’s actions are great. There will be fans of One Direction who have no idea about the details of the conflict. They will choose to research it because a person they look up to has tweeted support for Palestine. It raises awareness, which can only be a good thing.
At the same time, people have commended him for sharing his opinion. He has done it peacefully by saying nothing bad about the opposing side. It is his right to share his opinion and he should not be condemned for that. The problem is as a public figure he is going to spark debate and have people following him who are on either side. However, just because they do not agree with his opinion should not mean that they send death threats. If they really want to debate the matter, then keep it peaceful.
The war between Palestine and Israel has led to people on both sides. All many want is to see peace between the two communities. That seems to be all that most celebrities want. However, when they share their opinion or tweet their support for a free Palestine, celebrities like One Direction’s Malik and Rihanna receive death threats.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham