July 29, 2014 12:54
One Direction's Zayn Malik gets death threats after #FreePalestine tweet
Pop star upsets fans in Israel with message on social media
The boyband member, pictured above on the far left, tweeted "#FreePalestine" to his 13 million followers. The tweet currently has nearly 200,000 retweets. #FreePalestine is one of the most popular hashtags used by activists in relation to the conflict in the Middle East.
BBC News reports that around 3,000 people are using #ZaynYouHaveFansinIsrael, a specially-created hashtag to alert Malik to the offence he may have caused. "Please tell me this is just a nightmare," tweeted one. "You always made me smile but now u make me cry!"
However, The Mirror reports that other tweets went further, threatening violence and even death against the singer for his political statement.
Malik's comments have yet to be followed by any of his One Direction bandmates. However, Rihanna did make a similar tweet earlier in July but promptly deleted the message. The pop singer erased the post just eight minutes after it went online on July 15, replacing it with a more general tweet about the conflict which avoided taking sides.
Madonna has also made her opinions known, posting the following image on Instagram with the caption "These flowers are like the innocent children of GAZA! Who has a right to destroy them? No One!!!! CEASE FIRE! #peaceinthemiddleeast"
Additionally, Neil Young cancelled a show in Tel Aviv, Israel because of the situation. "We'll miss the opportunity to play for our fans and look forward to playing in Israel and Palestine in peace," said a statement issued by Young and his band Crazy Horse.
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder also caused controversy by appearing to side with the Free Palestine campaign during his band's performance last week at Milton Keynes Bowl.
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