OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
6:00 PM – Monday, December 11, 2023
Popular pop singer and songwriter Taylor Swift attended Ramy Youssef’s Brooklyn, New York, comedy show, which was held to help raise funds for Gaza and Palestinians.
On Friday night, Taylor Swift and her high-profile friends, which included model Cara Delevingne, and actresses Selena Gomez, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Zoë Kravitz, attended the comedy show in order to show their support.
Ramy Youssef, an American-Egyptian comedian, announced on his Instagram page that all funds from ticket sales and merchandise raised by the show would be donated to American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA.)
Youssef, the host of the comedy show, declared that “100% of the proceeds” from the rest of his standup comedy tour will be donated to ANERA and will help “provide humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza.”
However, Swift has not yet made any public comments regarding the war and there was no indication that she or any of the other celebrities attending the event with her donated additional funds.
ANERA aims to provide necessary emergency aid to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and Jordan. The organization also shares news updates and reported information on the current war in Palestine.
ANERA, which was founded in 1968, has described itself as having “no political or religious affiliation,” even though the group provides aid to majority-Muslim areas. The organization has also claimed to “mobilize resources for immediate emergency relief and for sustainable, long-term health, education, and economic development.”
However, the press has characterized the charity as being highly political, despite their claims to allegedly have no affiliations to any political party or religion.
“ANERA’s reports and newsletters present a highly biased view of the conflict, ignoring any Palestinian responsibility for hardship and contributing to the demonization of Israel consistent with the 2001 Durban strategy,” according to ngo-monitor.org.
Additionally, Peter Gubser, ANERA’s president, has not acknowledged Palestinian initiated attacks against Israel and typically only focuses on Israeli military retaliations.
On October 7th, the terrorist group, Hamas, launched an unexpected deadly attack on Israel. Shortly after, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the Jewish state was “at war,” and over the following few weeks, the United States has persisted in assisting Israel in its endeavors.
“The President emphasized the critical need to protect civilians and to separate the civilian population from Hamas including through corridors that allow people to move safely from defined areas of hostilities,” the White House announced in a recent readout of President Joe Biden’s call with Netanyahu.
Pro-Palestinian advocates have urged celebrities to use their platforms to raise awareness of the war and to demand a cease-fire.
Several of Swift’s fans have also criticized her for not speaking up about the current conflict.
“I’m a massive Taylor Swift fan, and you can make the argument that pop stars shouldn’t need to speak out about war/conflict/genocide (I disagree but you can argue this). But Taylor has defined herself as someone who now speaks out on issues, even if it costs her,” one X (Twitter) user wrote. “Taylor must feel something about the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. Her silence is an active choice and it betrays the image of herself that she created.”
In addition, Selena Gomez has faced ongoing scrutiny for not speaking out about the war as well.
Gomez, with over 429 million Instagram followers, expressed that she was taking a break from social media, saying that she wished she “could change the world. But a post won’t.”
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