Selena Gomez caused controversy on Saturday (19th July) when she uploaded an Instagram picture requesting her followers "Pray for Gaza". The comments she received in response are shocking and emphasise how divided many are on the subject. Others, fortunately, take a more level headed and pacifistic approach.
No conflict is more controversial or complex than that of Israel and Palestine. So it's not surprising that whichever side high profile figures appear to support, they earn both friends and enemies. Selena Gomez has fallen prey to this by posting a controversial image on Instagram.
Selena Gomez at a press conference on Ischia on Saturday 19th July.
Yesterday (19th July) Gomez uploaded a simple picture on Instagram with the words "It's about humanity. Pray for Gaza." The backlash she received demonstrates how public opinion is entirely divided on the conflict.
The majority have assumed Gomez is supportive of Palestine, yet she merely appears to be drawing attention to the conflict and attempting to emphasise how important change is. As it happens, Israel is firing the shots this time and Gaza City is the target. Already the death toll has reached over 300, according to the Guardian. Yet, from what Gomez wrote, it appears she would be as appalled by the attacks on Gaza by Israeli forces, as she would be if the situation were reversed.
Gomez wrote "Please pray for those families and babies today. Please always remember what's important in life. It's not any of this. We are here to help, inspire and love. Be that change. #wearethenextgeneration".
The existence of extremism on both sides is alive and terrifyingly well with many Instagram users venting their fury or sympathy by commenting on the image. One person wrote "Israel is a winner! And we here for stay!" Before descending into an expletive filled rant aimed at another Instagram user. Another user wrote "Israelis are just no hearted, cold blooded people."
However, there is still hope and some people have taken a more level headed and peace loving approach. One comment reads, "You are right, it's about humanity. There are innocence children and women dying, it's so sad, and the world keeps silence." Another commented on the fickle nature of public and media opinion, writing: "Next week they call the Palestinians the bad guys, and a week later they call the Israelis the bad ones. They call each other the bad guys, when in reality they are both victims of their own opinions and beliefs and the innocent suffer for it. They are both victims as well as "bad guys" depending on your point of view. Taking a side is just ignorance."
Following the backlash Gomez received, she explained her position in a tweet. She claimed she was not choosing sides but was merely hoping for peace. She wrote "And of course to be clear, I am not picking any sides. I am praying for peace and humanity for all!"
Gomez is not the only celebrity to fall victim to public outrage by commenting on current affairs. Jason Biggs caused controversy after he tweeted about the Malaysian Airlines flight that crashed in Ukraine on Thursday (17th July).
And of course to be clear, I am not picking any sides. I am praying for peace and humanity for all! http://t.co/zvrhGRtejy— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) July 19, 2014