Supermodel Bella Hadid: ‘We’re not allowed to be Palestinian on Instagram’

The supermodel accused Instagram of bullying after it took down a post of her father’s passport with his birthplace listed as ‘Palestine.’  

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Supermodel Bella Hadid accused Instagram of bullying her on Wednesday after the social media platform removed a post of her father’s passport with his birthplace listed as ‘Palestine.’

Hadid originally posted a picture of her father’s American passport, issued in 1988, which listed “Palestine” as his place of birth.

Bella Hadid’s father, real estate tycoon Mohamed Hadid, was born in Nazareth, Israel in November 1948, during Israel’s War of Independence.

Under the passport photo, Hadid wrote, “I am proud to be Palestinian. Today, everyone should post where their mothers and fathers were born today! Remind them how proud you are of where you come from!”

A few hours later, Hadid posted a notification she received from Instagram, informing her that they removed her post because it violated the social media platform’s community standards.

In response to the message from Instagram, Hadid wrote, “Exactly what part of me being proud of my father’s birthplace of Palestine is ‘bullying, sexual harassment, graphic violence, or nudity?’”

“Are we not allowed to be Palestinian on Instagram? This, to me, is bullying. You can’t erase history by silencing people. It doesn’t work like that.”

“Do you want him to change his birth place for you?”

Hadid’s photo of her father’s American passport raises several questions.

According to official State Department policy, “Palestine” can only be listed as a place of birth for people who were born prior to May 14, 1948.

Because Hadid was born in November 1948 in Nazareth, his place of birth should be written as Israel.

Worth noting is that Palestine then referred to the British Mandate of Palestine and “Palestinians” more often referred to Jews than Arabs. There was no independent Palestinian state.

American citizens born in Jerusalem do not have the option to list their birth place as Israel in their passports – rather, under place of birth, an American passport reads “Jerusalem.”

Even after President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the U.S. Embassy to the city, State Department policy still refuses to officially recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel on American passports.

Under “Unusual Circumstances Regarding Place of Birth,” the State Department website states, “U.S. policy recognizes that Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.”

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“The Place of Birth for persons born in Jerusalem is Jerusalem. Do not list Israel for persons born within the current municipal borders of Jerusalem.”

In 2015, the Supreme Court heard a lawsuit filed by the parents of Menachem Zivotofsky, an American citizen born in Jerusalem, which challenged the State Department policy.

The Zivotofsky family referenced the Foreign Relations Authorization Act passed by Congress in 2002, which declared that “for the issuance of a passport of a United States citizen born in the city of Jerusalem, the Secretary shall, upon the request of the citizen or the citizen’s legal guardian, record the place of birth as Israel.”

The Supreme Court ruled against the Zivotofsky family. The Court struck down the law, stating that Congress had overstepped its authority and that only the president could decide how to recognize foreign entities.

“Recognition is a matter on which the nation must speak with one voice. That voice is the president’s,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in the court’s majority opinion.