Monday, September 1, 2014

Rihanna and Dwight Howard tweeted #FreePalestine and it worked out how you would expect

"Oh, crap." D Dipasupil

So a popular performer you might know named Rihanna tweeted this:

Screen_shot_2014-07-15_at_12.20.09_pm

At least count, it had 6.9 thousand retweets. That's before the singer, naturally enough, deleted it.

It's not exactly a secret that the Israel-Palestine conflict is controversial, and tweeting #FreePalestine wades right into it. She presumably meant to express solidarity with Palestinians, many of whom in Gaza have been enduring a week of Israeli airstrikes that are targeting the Palestinian militant group Hamas but that the UN says have killed dozens of civilians as well. A two-word hashtag does not allow for an awful lot of nuance, though. For an artist as mainstream as Rihanna, wading into a conflict this contentious and complicated was bound to upset some people.

She's been burned on this topic before. At a 2013 show in Tel Aviv, some reporters in the audience thought she sang "all I see is Palestine" in place of "all I see is dollar signs" in the song "Pour it Up." The apparent implication was that all of the land there — currently Israel — is rightfully Palestinian. Not exactly something an Israeli crowd wants to hear, but it's also not what she actually said. The brief media firestorm before people realized she'd been misheard (someone found a recording) may help explain why Rihanna deleted her #FreePalestine tweet so hastily.

She's not even the only celebrity to get in trouble for tweeting #FreePalestine since the latest round of violence began. Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets center and one of the most famous players in the NBA, was asked by a fan what he thought:

Screen_shot_2014-07-15_at_12.43.38_pm He then tweeted this:

Screen_shot_2014-07-15_at_12.44.25_pm

Which he deleted, and apologized for:

The New York Knicks' Amare Stoudemire, who has Jewish heritage and has applied for Israeli citizenship after several visits, also deleted this:

Amare

What you've learned from all of this is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is really controversial.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Vox username and password

As part of the new Vox launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Vox going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Vox username and password

As part of the new Vox launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Vox going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_10934_tracker