What do Coldplay and Natalie Portman Have to do with Palestine?

“If it’s controversial.It sells” I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard  my  journalism professors repeat this but it’s 100% true. A more recent controversy taking over many social network conversations is Coldplay’s public support of a single title “Freedom For Palestine”by a band called OneWorld.

Since Coldplay, who’ve won seven Grammy awards and six Brit awards, put up the facebook status saying:

“Some of our friends are involved in OneWorld’s new ‘Freedom for Palestine’ single – you can find out more at http://www.waronwant.org/freedomoneworld/”

their facebook fans have skyrocketed and from there began the tweeting, retweeting and facebook commenting. But it didn’t end there… while some fans used their voices (or keyboards) to voice their support others voiced their disdain for Coldplays actions.

In less then a day 1,200 comments were posted on the link, some threatened to boycott the band and a Facebook page was created urging Coldplay to apologize to Israel.

One comment read:

“What a shame, they are good musicians. I can’t understand why they would want to be propoganda stooges for terrorists. That video presents such an absurd view of the situation. Anyone who endorses is is obviously naive and easily duped.” 

Ignorant comments such as the above were scattered all over the cyber world. Sadly, these commentators call the Palestinians terrorist but  if you asked them to define terror they’ll tell you it’s the targeting of civilians, killing of innocent people and destruction of the only place they call home. Isn’t Israel doing exactly that? (Someone pass them a reality check please)

Seems like an extreme response to a Facebook status, what difference can it make right? Wrong. Celebrity endorsements impact an image a lot more then many consumers are aware of; it’s psychological.

For example, Natalie Portman’s birthday is in a couple of days. It doesn’t make a difference where she’s born but many felt inclined to share that she was born in Israel (surprise! Actually, she was born in Jerusalem) Many fans may now think ‘NATALIE PORTMAN’ every time someone else mentions Israel.

Although Portman has dual citizenship and it makes completely no difference where she was born, it psychologically makes Portman fans more comfortable with Israel.

Don’t fall for it. This is besides the point but readers, please, be media savvy. It might save your life. Well not really… but it will save you a lot of time!

In conclusion, I admired Coldplay’s stance to keep the post up despite the negative comments they had been receiving but yesterday the link was taken down  and no explanation was given…



One Response to “What do Coldplay and Natalie Portman Have to do with Palestine?”
  1. UPDATE: via The Guardian, 9 June 2011

    1.42pm update: I’ve just had an email from Frank Barat at OneWorld who tells me:

    “Coldplay did not remove link from its Facebook page. Facebook removed the link because thousands of people (and computer generated posts) reported it as abusive.”


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