Israel continues to commit atrocities against the Palestinians despite mounting global and diplomatic pressure that calls for the end of the Apartheid. According to current reports, at least 192 people, including 58 children and 34 women, have lost their lives in the Gaza Strip in the current violent stretch of days, in addition to 1,200 that were left wounded. Israel, on the other hand, has reported 10 deaths, including two children. Many celebrities and activists have taken to social media to express their solidarity with the Palestinians and voice their vehement condemnation of the illegal Israeli occupation. However, Pakistani celebrity Zara Noor Abbas sparked a debate on Twitter after remarking that people who were busy uploading pictures of Eid during the celebrations and only started posting in favor of the Palestinian cause had made the issue “convenience-related.” Twitteratis hastened to respond to her.
What Happened: On May 16th, Abbas took to her Instagram to express her disgruntlement at people merrily celebrating Eid and posting their celebrations on social media, not heeding the Palestinian crisis until after the Eid was over. “For people talking about Palestine/Gaza now, what happened to this conversation when everyone was posting pictures of Eid outfit 1, 2 and 3?” she questioned.
How Did People Respond: Abbas’ remarks received a mixed response. Some people deemed her criticism valid, insinuating that people should not be treating the Palestinian crisis as a form of convenient activism that can be resorted to after celebrations of life and happiness are over.
However, many were offended as her remarks blatantly shamed people for celebrating a religious festival. They also argued that it was insensitive on Abbas’ part to critique how other people were coping with stress and pain this Eid, be it of losing a loved one to the pandemic or a sense of mourning for the Palestinian Muslims.
Actor Shehzeen Rahat, Abbas’ colleague in the showbiz industry also voiced her disagreement. “This is such an absurd statement coming from Zara Noor Abbas,” she said, noting that even the people in Palestine, who find themselves at the epicenter of the crisis, celebrated Eid as best as they could.
What Next: While Abbas has not responded to these comments, nor clarified the meaning of her story, it is evident that her remarks have initiated a conversation on whether it is morally commendable to celebrate life in the midst of wanton death or not.