The Weeknd Shares Instagram Posts Protesting Sheikh Jarrah Eviction

Palestinian-American supermodel Bella Hadid and British singer Dua Lipa also share posts in solidarity with East Jerusalem Palestinians facing eviction from lands claimed by Jewish settlers

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The Weekend attends the LA premiere of "Uncut Gems" in Los Angeles, 2019.
The Weekend attends the LA premiere of "Uncut Gems" in Los Angeles, 2019.Credit: Richard Shotwell,AP

The Canadian musician Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, shared on his Instagram account several posts critical of the planned eviction of Palestinians from lands claimed by Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem.

Palestinians in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood have been fighting their eviction by organizations seeking to settle Jews in the area for over thirty years.

>> What's behind the latest flare-up in Jerusalem, and what Israel can do to defuse tensions

The posts Tesfaye shared on his Instagram story included a protest painting by a U.S.-based Palestinian artist named Shirien showing a group of people holding signs that read "No More Ethnic Cleansing" and "Palestinians Will Remain" against a backdrop of Jerusalem, with a title in English and Arabic saying "Free Jerusalem" above them.

Another was a post by Khaled Beydoun, a law professor, showing the players of the Chilean soccer team Deportivo Palestino, which was founded by Palestinian immigrants, wearing kaffiyehs in solidarity with residents of Sheikh Jarrah.

Tesfaye also shared a post by an Israeli artist known as Nina that read, "As a Jewish Israeli I cannot stay silent about Sheikh Jarrah." In the accompanying text, Nina wrote that her "safety as a Jew, or anyone's safety, does require a 'Judaized' Jerusalem or forcing anyone out of their home."

Besides Tesfaye, similar posts were also shared by his former girlfriend, Palestinian-American supermodel Bella Hadid, as well as British singer Dua Lupa, who is dating Hadid's brother, Anwar.

Earlier this week, Palestinians living in Sheikh Jarrah have taken to social media to protest, but some found their posts, photos or videos removed or their accounts blocked starting last week.

Instagram and Twitter have blamed technical errors for deleting the posts mentioning the possible eviction, but data rights groups fear "discriminatory" algorithms are at work and want greater transparency.

Jewish settlers have portrayed the conflict surrounding Sheikh Jarrah as a legal battle over real estate, but neighborhood residents, helped by left-wing activists in Jerusalem, depict it as a fight against Judaization and discrimination in the city.

In recent weeks, as hundreds of residents faced eviction, and amid tension during Ramadan at Damascus Gate and the postponement of the Palestinian general election, the struggle spilled beyond Jerusalem’s borders, with hundreds wounded in violent clashes with Israeli security forces.

On Monday, following violent clashes outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque the Temple Mount, as well as rising tensions in Sheikh Jarrah, a new round of fighting erupted between Israel and and the militant factions in Gaza, led by Hamas.