Bar Refaeli criticised for ‘ignorant and racist’ ad where she removes face veil

Bar Refaeli criticised for ‘ignorant and racist’ ad where she removes face veil

Israeli actress and supermodel appeared in commercial where she takes off niqb as message about 'freedom' is played, leading to criticism from Muslim activists

Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli appears in an advertisement taking off a niqab, or Muslim face covering, over a song with the line “It’s all about freedom, finally breaking the chains.”

The ad, titled “Freedom is Basic” and first published online Monday, was made for the Israeli clothing company Hoodies and promoted on the company’s official YouTube page.

By Tuesday, both Refaeli and the company had deleted the ad from their Instagram pages, BuzzFeed reported. At least two versions remained on YouTube as of Thursday.

longer version, without the Hebrew line, includes Ethiopian-Israeli model Tahounia Rubel, Charedi online personality Melech Zilbershlag, transgender actress Strav Strashko and an unidentified actress wearing a Muslim headscarf.

Rubel captioned an Instagram post with a print version of the ad “After this year — a legitimate question: ‘Is Iran here?’”

The ad opened up a fierce debate in the comment sections on Instagram and YouTube. Refaeli and Hoodies were criticised on social media and accused of promoting Islamophobia.

Both videos have over 100,000 views on YouTube.

Refaeli, 33, is one of the most popular and influential Israelis in the world. Despite being criticised early in her career for avoiding Israeli military service, she is proudly Zionist and outwardly supports the Israel Defence Forces on her social media pages.

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