We’re all familiar with those ‘cashmere Communists’ who virtue signal their support for the poor and oppressed from the comfort of their million-pound mansions. But the past few days have seen the emergence of a whole new breed of hypocrite: the Rolls-Royce revolutionaries.
Step forward Alicia Keys and Gigi Hadid. Two wealthy, successful and influential women whose beauty, talent and connections have earned them a lifestyle most can only dream of. Two women who, from positions of lofty security have been accused by the Israeli government of ‘turning a blind eye’ to the actions of Hamas.
Nothing has exposed the puerile vacuity of certain celebrities like the onslaught on Israel. So many of the usual voices so quick to bewail what they see as injustices, from the treatment of refugees to the rights of trans people — Gary Lineker, Emma Thompson, Emma Watson et al — have been uncommonly circumspect when it comes to condemning Hamas’s pogrom.
But Keys and Hadid take this craven idiocy to a whole new level. In a post on Instagram to her 27 million followers, Keys, 42, uploaded a picture of herself in a black, green and white biker jacket with a red logo on one lapel — the colours of the Palestinian flag. She captioned it: ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid of anything? Tell me your truth . . . I’ve had my eyes on paragliding.’
Paragliding was, of course, one of the more chilling methods of incursion used by Hamas’s terrorists as they attacked civilians on October 7, gunning down terrified festival-goers, kidnapping grandmothers and babies, raping women, torching whole families in their homes.
Pro-Hamas demonstrators have been seen wearing pictures of paragliders as badges of support. How could anyone — let alone a social media user with a vast global platform — not be aware of that fact, or appreciate its significance?
The past few days have seen the emergence of a whole new breed of hypocrite: the Rolls-Royce revolutionaries – step forward Alicia Keys
‘There is nothing Jewish about the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians,’ Gigi Hadid wrote on social media
However, soon after Keys claimed ignorance.
‘The post I shared earlier was COMPLETELY unrelated in any way to the recent devastating loss of lives. My heart has been breaking.’ Did Keys think she would make herself look cool by positioning herself on the side of the ‘oppressed’ — not realising that many Palestinians abhor the actions of Hamas?
Whatever her intention, in reality it’s not only crass, it demonstrates an extraordinary level of ignorance. But that’s the problem with being a Rolls-Royce revolutionary: you are so insulated inside your bubble of privilege, it never occurs to you that your pronouncements might have consequences. It’s the same with Hadid. ‘There is nothing Jewish about the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians,’ she wrote on social media. ‘Condemning the Israeli government is not antiSemitic and supporting Palestinians is not supporting Hamas.’
In response, the Israeli government posted: ‘Have you been sleeping the past week? Or you just fine turning a blind eye to Jewish babies being butchered in their homes?’
Meanwhile, Hadid’s father, the property developer Mohamed Hadid, born into a Palestinian Muslim family in 1948, openly victim-shamed Israel, blaming it squarely for the horrors visited on its people. ‘This less of a human and Bibi [sic] and the far-Right government of this Zionist State is 100 per cent responsible for . . . this massive escalation between the occupied and the occupier,’ he wrote, alongside a picture of Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who supports settlements in occupied territories.
Many of my Jewish friends would be the first to admit that the Israeli government, particularly ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu’s current administration, has made mistakes. But ‘less of a human’? Says it all.
The Nazis also referred to the Jews as less than human: ‘Untermenschen.’ This twisted perception helped to justify them carrying out the Holocaust. The same notion appears here to be deployed to justify the horrors meted out by Hamas.
In some ways, though, I suppose the selective morality of people such as Hadid and Keys is understandable. They both operate in superficial worlds devoid of intellectual rigour — where image, not substance, is everything.
And like most useful idiots, they romanticise what they see as the idea of the noble rebel standing up to the heartless power of the state. Forgetting, of course, that if Hamas and their Islamist paymasters ever got their way, their comfortable worlds would come crashing down.
Pop stars and supermodels are not generally viewed with respect by the mullahs who run Iran and fund Hamas, or by hardline Islamist leaders anywhere. I don’t imagine Ms Hadid would be able to walk semi-naked down many runways if they ever got a grip on the West, or Keys warble her hits.
Gay rights, trans rights, women’s rights — they don’t exist in countries in the grip of Muslim theocracies. Israel, by contrast, for all its large Jewish orthodox community, is a liberal democracy where individual freedoms are not only tolerated, but staunchly defended.
It may not be perfect — but you only have to look to the misery of life in Tehran to see that the alternative is far worse. Perhaps Israel’s fashionable critics might like to think about that next time they celebrate the massacre of its citizens and call for its annihilation.
An ungrateful brat, actually
Richard Curtis has said he was ‘stupid and wrong’ for joking about people’s size in his films after he was chastised on-stage at a literary festival by his daughter, Scarlett.
This giant of British cinema is not the first member of her family young Scarlett has ‘called out’: she has previously described her maternal great-great grandfather Sigmund Freud as ‘sexist’ and ‘horrible’.
Miss Curtis would do well to remember that, were it not for her dad’s successes, not to mention the connections on her mother’s side of the family, no one would give two hoots what she thinks — let alone give her a platform from which to air her woke grievances.
There’s only one thing more annoying than a nepo-baby — and that’s an ungrateful nepo-brat.
Talking of nepo-babies, Madonna’s daughter Estere is turning out to be a bit of a star, sharing the stage with her older sisters Lourdes and Mercy on her mother’s Celebration Tour.
There’s just one thing though: the show is incredibly raunchy, and Estere is only 11. At one point, Madonna talks about giving ‘b*** jobs for showers’ when she was a struggling artiste in New York — and that’s not the half of it.
Is it really appropriate for a minor to be exposed to such adult themes?
Talking of nepo-babies, Madonna’s daughter Estere is turning out to be a bit of a star, sharing the stage with her older sisters Lourdes and Mercy on her mother’s Celebration Tour
Bringing Princess Diana back as a ghost in the latest series of The Crown is in my view about as exploitative of her memory as it gets. And yet still Prince Harry — much of whose ire is directed at what he sees as the media’s exploitation of her — continues to take the Netflix dollar.
MPs really should lay off the HP sauce
Should Parliament ban alcohol on the premises? Very possibly, if a report by the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) is anything to go by.
It says that alcohol is a ‘frequent factor’ in the misconduct of MPs, ‘leading to intimidating behaviour like shouting and swearing’.
I’m old enough to remember a Fleet Street where newspapers had their own pubs. It was common practice for journalists to nip down to the bar for a quick half (or three) in between filing stories — and I must confess it made for a convivial atmosphere. But there were also occasions when it led to some very regrettable behaviour.
The Palace of Westminster is a place of work where monumental decisions are taken, often at the end of a long night’s debate. I think — on balance — that it would be better if all involved laid off the sauce.
Time to go home?
Following news that violent inmates are to be released early to ease overcrowding in prisons, I wonder whether the Government should also implement proposals to send foreign prisoners, who represent about 12 per cent of the prison population, back to their (often grim) countries of origin. You never know, it might encourage others not to commit crimes in the first place.
The country’s biggest exam board has announced that, by 2026, pupils will be sitting their tests on laptops as part of an ‘evolution’ in learning. Forgive me for worrying where this ends.
Already, many of our lecture halls lie empty, with students being taught online. How long before teachers themselves become obsolete?
Are we looking at a future where children never get to experience a classroom, or play catch in a playground? I hope not. But I can’t be sure.