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L’Oreal Model Steps Down Over Anti-Israel Tweets

The first model to appear in a haircare ad while wearing a hijab announced on Monday that she was withdrawing from L’Oreal’s ad campaign after she received criticism for a series of anti-Israel statements she made on Twitter.

“I deeply regret the content of the tweets I made in 2014, and sincerely apologize for the upset and hurt that they have caused,” Amena Khan wrote on her social media platforms. “Championing diversity is one of my passions, I don’t discriminate against anyone. I have chosen to delete them as they do not represent the message of harmony that I stand for.”

Some of the tweets, which were sent during the 2014 war between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas, called Israel an “illegal state,” claimed the country is full of “child murderers” and accused the country of “Torture. Murder. Rape. Genocide.”

“I recently took part in a campaign, which excited me because it celebrated inclusivity,” she added. “With deep regret, I’ve decided to step down from this campaign because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment that it set out to deliver.”

“L’Oreal Paris is committed to tolerance and respect towards all people. We agree with her decision to step down from the campaign,” the cosmetics company told the BBC.

The L’Oreal affair came days after cosmetics competitor Revlon found itself in a similar controversy, as Palestinian-American activist Amani al-Khatahtbeh turned down an award from the company because of its ties to Israeli actress Gal Gadot. A survey of al-Khatahtbeh’s history found that she had released a video claiming that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were an inside job, and had published articles criticizing the Jewish campus group Hillel for its “Jewish nature” and approvingly citing anti-Semitic white supremacists.

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink

This story "L’Oreal Model Steps Down Over Anti-Israel Tweets" was written by Aiden Pink.

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