Singer Dua Lipa 'willing to take backlash' over Gaza support, Israel criticism

Singer Dua Lipa 'willing to take backlash' over Gaza support, Israel criticism
The singer, who labelled the war in Gaza as a genocide, said that criticism of Israel is for 'the greater good'.
3 min read
18 June, 2024
Dua Lipa has credited her Kosovar-Albanian heritage for her political activism, including solidarity with Palestine [Getty/file photo]

Pop singer Dua Lipa has said that she is willing to "take backlash" over her support for the Palestinian cause amid the ongoing military onslaught in Gaza, after speaking out against Israel's atrocities.

She said that this was "for the greater good", in a interview with UK media.

The English-Albanian singer said that criticism of Israel's indiscriminate attacks on Gaza and its siege  was "worth the risk", amid a climate where expressions of pro-Palestinian solidarity, mostly in the West, have often resulted in harassment, blacklisting, and denial of work opportunities.

In an interview on Tuesday with the Radio Times, Lipa said: "When I speak about things that are political, I double-, triple-check myself to be: 'OK, this is about something that is way bigger than me, and it’s necessary – and that’s the only reason I’m posting it.' That is my only solace in doing that."

"It’s always going to be met with a backlash and other people’s opinions, so it’s a big decision. I balance it out, because ultimately, I feel it’s for the greater good, so I’m willing to [take that hit]."

The Grammy-winning singer has used her celebrity status and social media platforms to speak about the war in Gaza, which has killed at least 37,372 Palestinians since October 7.

The singer, born and raised in London but who has roots in Kosovo, called  Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip as a genocide, in an Instagram post last month, echoing many rights groups and NGOs.

Uploading an image from the Artists4Ceasefore campaign using the hashtag #AllEyesOnRafah, Lipa wrote:  "Burning children alive can never be justified. The whole world is mobilising to stop the Israeli genocide. Please show your solidarity with Gaza," in a reference to the Tel al-Sultan massacre in Rafah in May, which killed at least 45 Palestinians.

Lipa has repeatedly called for a ceasefire in Gaza, and has criticised global leaders for "not doing enough" to resolve the humanitarian crisis which has taken hold in the territory as a result of Israel's actions.

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Recently, the singer was referenced in an Israeli drill-rap song calling for violence against those voicing pro-Palestinian views.

In 2021, an advert attacking Lipa, as well as Palestinian-American models Gigi and Bella Hadid, was published in the New York Times, accusing them of "antisemitism" for their support of Palestinians during Israel's war in Gaza in May of that year.

Lipa and the Hadid sisters had spoken against Israel’s 10-day military campaign in Gaza that year, which killed more than 260 Palestinians.

The advert used an image of them, with the caption "Hamas calls for a second Holocaust, Condemn them now".

In the interview, Lipa said her Kosovar-Albanian heritage was an influence on her political views and activism.

She said speaking up "is a natural inclination for me, given my background and heritage, and that my very existence is somewhat political".

"It’s not something that is out of the ordinary for me to be feeling close to," she added

The singer, due to headline the Glastonbury music festival later this month, has also used her platform to raise awareness about the ongoing war in Sudan and against comments made by right-wing UK ministers on migrants and refugees.