Beauty tycoon Huda Kattan is at the center of a social media storm after sharing an anti-Israel video online in the wake of the Hamas terrorist atrocities that left 1,400 people murdered and 200 taken hostage.
The Huda Beauty founder, who has built a $1.2billion cosmetics empire after starting a makeup blog in 2010, reposted creator Naley By Nature’s impassioned plea for Palestinian self-determination in which she branded ‘apartheid’ Israel’s retaliation air strikes in Gaza as ‘genocide…live on television’.
The filmmaker and producer goes on to accuse Israel of ‘colonization’, and in a clear reference to the establishment of the Jewish state says: ‘There has been a slow genocide of Palestinians happening for 80 years.’
In an overt display of support, Kattan, 40, who was born in Oklahoma City to Iraqi parents, shared Naley’s clip on Sunday on her personal account where she has amassed 3.5million followers, with the caption: ‘#freepalestine.’
The polarizing post inevitably drew hundreds of thousands of comments from users reacting to the beauty guru’s stance.
Huda Kattan is in hot water after sharing an anti-Israel video with the 3.5million followers of her personal Instagram account on Sunday
Kattan, the founder of her namesake Huda Beauty cosmetics line, reposted a clip made by writer and producer ‘Naley By Nature’ accusing Israel of colonization and apartheid
In a comment responding to the post, user Tohar Sagi warned the make-up artist her anti-Israel stance could result in a boycott of her products, to which she replied: ‘I don’t want blood money’
And when one user intimated a boycott of her products by Israeli women in response, Kattan fired back: ‘I don’t want blood money.’
Representatives of Huda Beauty did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The video – posted a week after the horror in which babies were beheaded, families tortured before being slaughtered, 260 young people murdered at a music festival and a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor killed – drew outrage from other followers but also widespread support.
Appearing to film herself on her phone, Naley begins by saying: ‘I have been to both Israel and Palestine. I wouldn’t say only for a couple of days or weeks, I would say I lived in the West Bank. I was there for months.
‘I lived in the homes of Israelis and I lived in the homes of Palestinians.’
She adds: ‘I see white people lecturing the children of colonization, the children of apartheid, the children of slavery that.. you know this is such a complex issue and, you know, we have no right to talk about it as if this is the first time that we have ever seen this.
‘We are literally watching genocide happen live on television. We are being gaslit in ways that I cannot even comprehend.
‘If there’s anything that I’ve learned in my time from Israel and Palestine it’s that this issue really isn’t that complicated, OK.’
She continues: ‘On the one hand you have Palestinians who simply want to be free, they want to live, they want to live on the land, they want to be treated like a human being, they want dignity.
‘And if you ask them to show you where their ancestors are buried, for hundreds of generations, they can point and show you where their ancestors are scattered.’
Referring to the Palestinians displaced as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war when Egypt, Transjordan, Syria and Iraq attacked the fledgling Jewish state, she says: ‘And they have the keys to their homes that they lost, that settlers joyfully get to live in.’
Kattan, who is now based in Dubai after being born in Oklahoma to Iraqi parents, has amassed a $1.2billion cosmetics empire with her makeup line
Critics have also left scathing comments on Kattan’s personal, unrelated posts, including one of her recent 40th birthday celebrations
The beauty guru prompted further discussion in the comments section after apparently responding to threats of a boycott by Israeli women with: ‘I don’t want blood money’
The comment drew further outrage from Israel supporters who accused Kattan of disrespecting ‘innocent people’
The post also attracted support from followers who agreed with her stance
She then referenced Israeli land rights, although it was unclear if she was talking about Israel or the West Bank, which is home to 450,000 Israeli settlers.
‘And on the other side you have Israelis who will tell you that God gave them this land,’ she continued.
‘That is their belief. Now, for me, I never knew God to be a real estate agent.
‘And I don’t know as a collective to what extent do Palestinians have to participate in their reality.’
On Gaza, where more than one million people have been told to move south by The Israel Defense Forces, Naley said: ‘We are watching Palestinians in Gaza be bombed death, OK.
‘They have nowhere to go, they are trapped. And we know this information and we’re saying it’s OK, it’s OK because look what they’ve done.’
Naley also denied Palestinian vengeance against Jews, saying: ‘There is this conversation happening that if Palestinians actually become free, that they would kill all the Israelis, that they would kill all the Jewish people.
‘And I just want to say something. You guys do know that there are Jewish people that live in the West Bank, right…. Like this idea that, you know, that Palestinians will inflict horror on Israelis and Jews if they are free is a myth, it is a lie and it is rhetoric we have heard so many times before.
‘This idea that people of color are inherently violent, that is we are free that we cause chaos, and we have never been the ones to cause chaos. And I need people to understand that this is a myth, it is a lie and at its core it is racism.’
A separate post drew comments from one user who challenged Huda to spend a day in Palestine
The controversial video remains on Kattan’s account, where she has since shared another post in an appeal for UNICEF to send urgent aid to Gaza
The post of the video has since been flooded with comments from users expressing both outrage and support.
Users have also left comments weighing in on the controversy on unrelated posts, including a photo Kattan shared from her recent 40th birthday celebration in a Dubai hotel on October 8.
Instagram user @Tohar.Sagi slammed the businesswoman, writing: ‘I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Israelis from all over the world love you and your products. With most of their money, and you choose Gaza.
‘So remember this as soon as no Israeli buys from you again, anywhere in the world…. Gaza doesn’t have money to invest in it in my opinion because they prefer to invest in weapons. But have a lovely day!!!
‘That’s how a company’s shares drop, and support murder is not cool.’
Kattan appeared to have fired back with a defiant response denouncing ‘blood money,’ prompting even more furious replies.
User Sormzx wrote: ‘Blood money? Lol crazy how entitled you are to dehumanize and disrespect innocent people merely because they’re Jewish/Israeli… I’m in disbelief you failed to understand how Hamas is using the citizens as shields bc they don’t care about Palestinians.’
One furious poster, @taliyaperetz hit back: ‘Because Israel does not kidnap children, women, people and old people!! Israel does not massacre people!! Israel does not rape!! Israel does not take down literal heads, the head of a human being, of a child!! But Hamas does do all this. So you can keep crying and lying to yourself.’
Kattan’s successful business started off as a YouTube beauty blog called Huda Beauty
She found early success with Kim Kardashian wearing her false eyelashes and now has an estimated person net worth of $510million
And @shro.aldh wrote: ‘Before today I saw you as a normal clever celebrity that’s it, but now? You are a hero in my eyes and the eyes of thousands of Palestinians who had enough from the injustice of the world .. you are a queen .. a white hearted princess .. an angel .. a strong voice of the justice .. you’re blessed with a golden personality and heart, I admire you trillion time now.’
However, follower 025h supported Kattan, with the words: ‘@tohar.sagi Huda doesn’t need your support or Israel support.. all Arab and even no rational non-Arab people support her.’
@scarletredlove backed her by saying: ‘These Israeli women bullying on her age thinking they are punishing her for standing with Palestine…how miserable are they, go get a life, but better get it any other where except on our land.
Sickeningly, follower yasmine.e.al wrote in reference to the Nazi death camp in Poland where 1.3million mainly Jews were murdered: ‘Auschwitz will happen again inshallah’.
Days later on Tuesday, Kattan posted an appeal for UNICEF, the United Nations’ agency for humanitarian aid to children, saying: ‘I’m horrified by the scenes coming out of Gaza. Time is running out for the children of Gaza; hundreds of children have already been killed or injured.
Palestinian militant group Hamas waged a war against Israel last week with a terrorist attack that left 1,400 people murdered and 200 taken hostage
‘Hospitals are overwhelmed, and the numbers keep rising. No child should have to witness this!
‘UNICEF is on the ground providing support, but they need our help. In times of crisis, donations can make all the difference. We’ve donated to support the cause and send urgent aid.’
Kattan began posting pictures of herself celebrating her birthday on the same weekend Israel was attacked.
She was staying at the Atlantis The Royal hotel, which bills itself as ‘the most ultra-luxury experiential resort in the world’.
She grew up in Oklahoma, Tennessee and Massachusetts before her family moved to Dubai in 2006.
She later came back to the United States and studied make-up in Los Angeles, where Eva Longoria and Nicole Richie were clients.
After returning to Dubai, she began a blog called Huda Beauty and in 2013 founded a cosmetics line with the same name.
She found early success with Kim Kardashian wearing her false eyelashes – and now has an estimated person net worth of $510million.