Amani al-Khatahtbeh refused a recent award from Revlon

Palestinian-rights activist Amani al-Khatahtbeh (left) refused an award from makeup giant Revlon because the brand features Israeli actress Gal Gadot.


Even the most casual observer could tell you that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is capable of being reignited at any moment. Decades of conflict in the region has resulted in an incredibly low boiling point that’s easily — and often — reached.

President Trump threw some gasoline on this fire recently when he announced the recognition of Jerusalem – the disputed home to Judaism, Islam and Christianity’s holiest sites – as Israel’s ‘true’ capital. The move was championed by many Jewish and evangelical Christian groups who believe it’s high time the U.S. stood up for Israeli interests.

However, critics blasted the decision as irresponsible, arguing it ruins the reputation of the U.S. as an ‘honest’ peace broker in the Middle East. For their part, Islamic countries in the region saw it as an act of aggression against Muslim claims to Jerusalem, and were not shy in expressing their disapproval.

But just as tensions appeared to be cooling off following this latest flare-up, a pair of international cosmetic companies have inadvertently revamped the hostilities.

Revlon Snubbed

It all started when global makeup chain Revlon received a very public snub courtesy of popular Muslim writer and activist Amani al-Khatahtbeh. A New Jersey-born daughter of Jordanian and Palestinian immigrants, al-Khatahtbeh is the founder of MuslimGirl.com. In a surprise move, she publicly refused to accept Revlon’s ‘Changemaker’ Award, which honors individuals fighting for female empowerment. The reason? Revlon had separately decided to crown Israeli actress Gal Gadot (of Wonder Woman fame) as its global brand ambassador for a big-budget ad campaign. Apparently taking issue with Gadot’s vocal support of Israeli interests, she decided to decline:

A post shared by Amani (@amani) on

News of Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi’s arrest and continued incarceration for allegedly shoving, slapping and throwing rocks at Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers had already become a rallying cry for Palestinian-rights groups. The fact that Revlon chose to associate with the Wonder Woman star (herself a proud IDF veteran) was apparently a step too far for al-Khatahtbeh.

Muslim beauty model

Some questioned why a model who showed no hair was invited to participate in a hair care campaign.

L’Oreal-ity Check

Cosmetic competitor L’Oreal, meanwhile, has found itself in equally tumultuous political waters after a pioneering new beauty campaign took a hit. The company had recently garnered international attention by featuring a hijab-wearing model in a new line of hair care ads. Some questioned why a model who showed no hair was invited to participate, but many other praised it as a progressive message of inclusivity.

But things took a negative turn when the model, influential blogger Amena Khan, was forced to step aside after a series of anti-Israeli tweets resurfaced (as old tweets tend to do). In a series of messages back in 2014, Khan referred to Israel as an “illegal state” of “child murderers” for whom “defeat also awaits”.

Khan apologized for the tweets, which she admits detracted from the “positive and inclusive sentiment” the campaign was intended to strike. “Championing diversity is one of my passions, I don’t discriminate against anyone,” she explained. “I have chosen to delete the tweets as they do not represent the message of harmony that I stand for.”

Finding Common Ground

Although far from sparking another intifada, these recent controversies reflect just how deep such feelings run. Even being associated with a brand that also happens to feature a patriotic Israeli is too much for some Palestinian activists. That speaks volumes as to how complex the conflict is.

Unfortunately, if even sharing the same beauty brand is untenable for the two sides, a long term peace deal likely remains a pipe dream.

 

21 comments

  1. Jess Martin says:

    if Palestinians want rights maybe they should bring an end to their hideous propaganda machine pumping anti semitic blood libels into the minds of their youth, stop glorifying so called martyrs and call them what they are, killers, murderers and primitive criminals.

    1. Dave Anderson says:

      AMEN!!!!!

    2. Neda says:

      Those Palestinians ARE Semitic. You mean anti-Jewish. 90% of Jews in Israel, are NOT Semitic.

      1. Kalil says:

        Even if you wanna go the “Ashkenazi aren’t real jews” route…..even tho it’s been scientifically disproven… over half of Israeli Jews are mizrahi whose families had to flee for their lives from the Middle East and North Africa. So try again sorry.

  2. James says:

    How much money is lost because Palestinians don’t buy makeup? Yeah, I didn’t hear a penny drop. Who cares about crybabies that hate everyone that doesn’t agree with them and wants to kill everyone who points that out? This World needs a pecking order established again.

  3. Linda says:

    Whoa, now! Remember, Palestinians were forced to move out of their ancestral lands to make way for a Jewish State. Calling them names is no answer at all. These are human beings with legitimate human rights grievances. I am no supporter of violence, but I do think we don’t understand their position. I am worried about the tenor of comments by Members here. We are supposed to be inclusive and thoughtful here, not demeaning and shallow. Do some research before you comment.

    1. Sara says:

      I think the Palestinians have human rights which should be respected by Israelis, but not at the expense of Israelis lives. Jews lived in ancient Israel, their homeland, starting more than 2000 years before Christ. They were the original Palestinians when the Romans named that area. They were removed, fought to return, and were martyred for it but they stayed there up to today. The people who call themselves Palestinians today have been in Israel for centuries. They too call it their homeland. The Palestinians were given approximately half of the Palestinian area by the U.N. at the same time Jews were given a state. It wasn’t the Jews’ fault that Egypt and Jordan took it from them. There were battles and populations on both sides moved during the battles of 1948. Both sides did their share of bad things to one another. One side flourished through sacrifice and hard work and the other side clung to their bad feelings and languished. Do you ever wonder why there are still refugee camps in Gaza, which totally belongs to the Palestinians and in the West Bank, which is controlled for the most part by the Palestinian Authority? Why are they hanging on to victimhood rather than developing themselves? Why on earth won’t they negotiate with Israel, whose people are tired of war and want peace with their neighbors? And yes, we should be respectful of each other in these conversations. I am continually surprised by the venom of some of the responders to lots of topics in these blogs.

      1. Linda says:

        I agree Sara. It’s sad the Palestinian model couldn’t have used this as a way to make friends with the Israeli and done SOMETHING to promote peace. One thing everyone is missing is the Jews BOUGHT their land, took some in self defense, GAVE some back… yet the only thing Palestinians seem to know is to terrorize to get what they want. I use to think surely all the Palestinians aren’t for terrorists but now I’m beginning to wonder…

        1. willie34 says:

          Remember, to the victor goes the spoils! Israel won the 6 day war! Once a terrorist always a terroris that is what the palistinians are. They came out of Jordan, they never ever had a state called Palestine!!!let them go back to Jordan! As long as they dont want to recognize Israel as a legitimate state, there will never be peace for them. If we were constantly attacked by one of our neighbors like Israel was by the so called Palestians we would wipe who ever attacked us of the earth!! I think the Israeli have alot of patience, I certaily would not and I dont think the US would either. You would think with the moslems praying to Allah 5 times aday it would win the some favor with Allah/God, but it does not look that way. Maybe He does not like their murdering ways either. They must have misunderstood some thing Mohamed was trying to teach them before!!! I am not Jewish either!!! 🙏🙏🙏

          1. Sara says:

            Thank you for your wise thoughts.

        2. Sara says:

          Thank you, Linda. If Palestinians would just stop the violence and start being smart about themselves they would have a country of their own. Jews were stripped of everything all around the world, including Arab countries who “ethnically cleansed” themselves of their Jewish populations. Jews can’t go back to their homes in Arab countries even though they lived there for centuries. They would be slaughtered. They live in the present no matter what wrongs were done to them and they build for the future. If Palestinians live their lives in the past nursing and exploiting their wounds and teach their children to do the same they are doomed to stay there in misery and violence.

    2. Linda says:

      Linda, how did you get to use my name on the forums? Could we agree the newest one on here does something to differentiate between the two? I’m surprised the site allows it. I’ve mentioned this to you before but never saw a response. Are you Linda Weeks? If so, why did you drop the Weeks? IMO, it is very confusing if two people use the same name. Thanks.

    3. Silvia ross says:

      They were told to leave by Muslim leaders who said they cN return when the Jews are ‘ll killed off

  4. Doggod says:

    Sara and Linda I respectfully see that you are incorrect. Islam hates everyone who is not Muslim. They books tell them to kill us, force us to submit, or pay protection fees. This is the only (so called) religion that tells their followers to kill. And I want you to show me any other religion that preaches this kind of hate. Remember Hitler used them to help kill Jews because their religion aligned with the Nazi philosophy.

    Fascism must be removed from oir government and schools. Get rid of the progressive (facist) policy makers and scholars. It is ok to disagree this is how we humans make progress and find better solutions.

    Love you all,
    Doggod

    1. Neda says:

      You are full of crap. As a former Muslim, I can attest to the fact that the only time you can kill anyone else, is in self defense, or during times of war. Otherwise, you are to peacefully deal with ALL people, especially People of the Book (Xstians & Jews).

      Hitler actually was raised Catholic, but rejected all religion. It placed a supreme ruler above him, and that was not allowed. Obviously you don’t read the Bible, where it says to kill those who refuse to believe.

  5. Doggod says:

    Israel was Jewish thousands of years before Islam was even thought about. It is nothing mother than a shoddy attempt by an illiterate human to rewrite the holy bible. Please study history or we will be doomed to repeat it.

    Peace,
    Doggod

  6. T'Keren Valmaz says:

    The Hebrew people lost their claim to that area thousands of years ago when they failed to defend it against babylon. It was only the desire of western powers to manipulate the region after WWII that brought about all this strife for the last 70 years.

    The muslims time and again fought back the invaders during the crusades. And it was theirs by right of victory until the U.S. backed by the terror of nuclear weapons forced division to weaken the area with endless wars ever since to make acting as allies to get access to oil easily.

    Its all about money, and ethnocentric we are right because we are the chosen attitudes.

    As lovely as GG is Id never trust her in bed unless she was tied up and gagged as she is way to dangerous to trust during sleep.

    As the song goes, beware of the pretty faces that you find. A pretty face can hide an evil mind.Oh be careful what you say, or you wont last the day. Odds are you wont live to see tomorrow.

    A beautiful spec ops/spy is a lovely monster just watch The Americans, Keri Russels character is a terror in a tiny package.

    1. Cyril says:

      By your logic then the Palestinians lost their claim to Israel when the Hebrew people won the Six Day War.

      1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

        The Hebrew people have been hiding behind the nuclear arsenal of the US since the end of WWII. So no Id actually say Israel should be much like Puerto Rico a US territory.

        Without a nuclear arsenal a nation is realy only so in name only. The Balance of power globally is a table only the big bullies armed with WMDs sit at and manipulate the rest.

        Why do you think the US fears various nations getting such power. No one would actually risk using them but by having them they force those nations with them to back off and treat them as humans rather then pawns.

        And actually I dont really acknowledge the Hebrew people all living today descend from those who submitted to the rule of babylon and integrated with that country and culture. Clinging to that which was lost and can never be again is a recipe for stagnation, depression and decay as I see frequently on native reservations in my region. They would all be better off just being part of the rest of society rather then hiding from it in self imposed isolation.

        The Hebrew people to me are just people of whatever country they are born in. If Poland then polish, if israel then israeli etc. But ultimately we are all just children of the universe and countries are just lines on maps that mean little to me beyond an annoyance.

  7. Bill Fox says:

    Having “models” is now a way to alienate potential or existing customers.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      YES FOLKS MOST of the PUBLIC is JUST as UNINFORMED as THEIR PUTO POTUS DOTAR ORANGUtRUMP that is WHY they VOTED for the F–KTARD at LEAST THE VILLAGE IDIOTS SMARTENED UP TO ROY FONDDLE the KIDs MOORE

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